The chilling story of Lieutenant Richard Alemán, a prisoner of the Nicolás Maduro regime: “I am miraculously alive, they tortured me with electricity, beatings and suffocation”

Richard German

Four years ago, not knowing that one day he would be in worse condition, Lieutenant Richard German reacted outraged to a letter published by the then political prisoner and former mayor of San Cristóbal, Daniel ceballos, who denounced that he had been isolated for almost two months, without a visitor, without seeing the sun in the dungeons of El Helicoide.

Aleman wrote in this regard that “It is surprising to observe how in our beautiful country there is no rule of law. The ability to harm others is impressive, for the simple reason of speaking out against them. They are a horrendous dictatorship who has been in charge of assassinating, arresting, persecuting and hurting every Venezuelan ”.

Later he recognized: “I regret and regret a thousand times, having been in the military and even working for this horrendous revolution in which at some point in my life I believed even though my whole family was against”.

Alemán was part of the regional government of the then governor of Táchira, Jose Gregorio Vielma Mora, What President of the company Compañía Anónima Industrias Mineras del Táchira (Caimta). After his separation from office, he disappeared from the public scene.

As a result of the events in Puerta Morocha, an attempted rebellion by captains of the National Guard that occurred on April 20, 2020, which later became known to be related to the Operation Gideon, several active and retired officers were arrested.

Richard Alemán has been in prison for a year and seven months
Richard Alemán has been in prison for a year and seven months

In the early morning hours of April 23 last year, a commission of officials from the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim), arrived at the paternal home of the Alemán family in Puerto Cabello. Several relatives of the lieutenant were arrested, among them his two sisters Yolimar and Andreína Alemán Castellanos, the husband of one of them, Captain Ericsson Alexander Chaya Barrueta; and his cousin Manuel Castellanos.

The lieutenant, for his part, would have passed to Colombian territory, but the pressure on his family by the Dgcim forced him to return. There he was arrested, being held at the DGCIM headquarters in Boleíta, Caracas.. Her case and that of her relatives, including her sisters still imprisoned in DGCIM, has remained silent for a long time.

This week, Alemán asked to speak in the courts of Caracas after the Dgcim official who tortured him was recognized at the last hearing, according to the Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy.

I asked my lawyers to speak in court, after hearing the Dgcim official speak at the last hearing. I have been detained since April 24, 2020. At the last hearing, I explained that Dgcim officials said it was May 6. No, it was April 24, 2020 ″, the lieutenant began his story.

“I was in the hotel with four companions (Goiticha, Olivares, Rosales and Perozo). We were waiting because we were going to refuel. Captain Murillo, who was my promotion partner, was going to help me fill gas because the next day we were going to see some major league players. Goiticha has signed several players for the major leagues. Olivares is with me at the academy. (They have a baseball academy in Puerto Cabello). In our vehicles there were gloves, balls. There were no blue bracelets as the Dgcim said. There were sports implements”Aleman began his story before the judge.

And he continued: “I was in my room, 36. At about 3:30 AM I was asleep after watching a movie,” Miracle in cell 7 “; and all of a sudden I wake up and see many rifles and officials dressed in black. They entered the room, hit me on the head, beat me, and then took me to the parking lot where the other classmates were. They took us to the Dgcim in Boleita, where we were greeted by a superior officer. We had our faces covered with folders and duct tape”.

Alemán later detailed: “This officer who greeted us immediately kicked me in the nose. Since then, I have trouble breathing, I have asked to see a doctor, and so far no specialist has seen me. We had 19 days getting hit. They beat me all over my body. They applied mechanical asphyxia with balls. They rode on top of me, gave me a respiratory arrest. On April 27, I went to the military hospital, where they revived me with a medical procedure. That same day at 3:00 AM they discharged me ”.

Richard Alemán in a photo with his mother
Richard Alemán in a photo with his mother

The lieutenant’s account is increasingly shocking: “When I got to the Dgcim, they beat me in again, they undressed me, they bathed me with cold water. And I don’t know what happened to me because I’m not a doctor, but they took me out crooked for the medical service, they put warm blankets on me. They threw me on the floor for 19 days with my hands handcuffed behind my back. That was the best deal we could have. I still have the handcuff marks on my wrists from those days. Every day was one of incessant torture”.

“A major from the Dgcim beat us every day and recorded us, while he told us what we had to say on the video. After so much torture, they wanted you to plead guilty. The following days, after I did not want to plead guilty, they detained my family (sisters, brother-in-law, a cousin). My cousin was released after 30 days. They kept my sisters standing from 6 in the morning until 10 at night for 5 days. They told them to tell what they knew, and they said they knew nothing. On the tenth day they took me to the DAE office, where they did the most horrible thing to me. This biggest torturer inserted a wooden stick into my anus and pulled out my hemorrhoids. This is one of the most horrible things that I experienced, and I have asked to be treated because I still have hemorrhoids outside and I suffer from it”, The lieutenant denounced the cruelty he suffered.

And continued: “They were days of electricity in the testicles, blows and suffocation in water pipes. At 32 days they took my sisters and my brother-in-law and released them there in Punto Fijo. They were free for a few minutes. Immediately the Dgcim detained them again, all this to say that they were caught there and presented in court. All this happened since April 20. If I had not been missing since April 20, my father would not have sat down in the living room of the house with my mother on April 25 to ask for a life certificate. They have been threatening and torturing us incessantly”.

Then he narrated that “forced to make a statement, which had to say under threat that I was the culprit of Operation Gideon. All the tortures are etched in my mind. It is impossible to live in peace. You have to make a report just because, people who have nothing to do with it. I had to testify with my kidnapped family. I don’t know where those videos will be. I had to say that he was guilty. I went through that process of the torture videos, we spent months. After they introduced me, they took me to a horror site called El Tigrito ”.

Regarding that place, he said: “A place of horror, a place of scary, terrifying”. According to the Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy, at that moment Alemán stood up in front of the judge and said: “Judge, it’s a 2×2 site. They have a black door that says: ‘Danger high voltage’. When you enter you cannot move. When you enter they give you a 5 liter bottle so you can pee there. There comes a time when you pee on yourself. You cannot bend your knees. It is a place where you can never see the sun and the breeze will never touch your face.. I have heard of rights, but have not had them. My first call was three months after my arrest. They gave me, because that’s what they told me, they gave me 3 minutes; and I couldn’t say that I had been tortured. I had to say that it was fine, that better impossible. The calls were recorded ”.

Officials of the Dgcim, the intelligence body that tortures
Officials of the Dgcim, the intelligence body that tortures

The lieutenant wondered and asked the judge: “How does one do, with a person who has him tortured, threatened … I remember being in El Tigrito, on the third day, They opened the door, and between jeering they asked me: ‘Is everything okay?’. One day they took me to mass and I did the second reading and, while doing the second reading in front of my torturers, I thought I had lost the sensitivity of life. I just wanted to die, not suffer anymore”, He declared.

Alemán insisted that his arrest was on April 20. “Judge, if you look VTV (Venezuelan Television) On May 5, one of the spokesmen said that they had detained some terrorists, and said that they had detained others since May 20 and that they had not said so because they were investigating. When we were introduced to the Sebin, the judge called my sisters and my dad and said: ‘I have the solution for this problem. Keep it simple, send a message to Richard Alemán, to plead guilty and well, all the others who are detained are going to trial and there they will be released one day.‘. We have lived this and we continue to live it. I have been detained for 1 year and 7 months and we are still living this horror. And everyone knows this, once I saw a general and a commander. I was once taken up to a general’s office. He told me: ‘See, there are your sisters crying for you, because you do not plead guilty‘. I had to plead guilty so that my sisters were supposedly released. I asked to speak to my sisters and, being with them outside, they told me: ‘Brother, you don’t have to plead guilty to something that you are not. We’ve already been through this process, they don’t have to find you guilty. ‘ And I didn’t and the torture continued”.

“When I saw Judge Márquez, I told him to take me out of the Dgcim because they tortured me there. Here, a citizen judge, neither you nor the prosecutors and even less my lawyers have told me to plead guilty, but the three public defenders who assisted me all this year when they didn’t let my lawyers in told me to plead guilty”He continued.

Alemán said in front of the judge that a public defender made his parents sell valuables so they would give her money. “That defender who took money from my parents said that I would remain in prison because it was a presidential order. Everything remains the same, nothing has changed: mechanical asphyxiation, blows, I went into respiratory arrest, I was revived in the military hospital. I am miraculously alive. They went further, they raided my parents’ house, they beat my dad, they destroyed my family. After this my father died. He died of sadness when he saw his children imprisoned. Thank God my sisters have a measure and can accompany my mother. But we are afraid that for this statement they will be arrested. We have hope ”, he concluded.


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