The Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal announced this Sunday the death of a political prisoner after suffering a respiratory arrest. Gabriel Medina Díaz, 39, was imprisoned in La Pica prison in the eastern state of Monagas, and died “due to lack of medical care”, as denounced by the vice president of the organization, Gonzalo Himiob, through his Twitter account.
“The death of Gabriel Medina Díaz, who was being held in the ‘Nelson Mándela’ annex of ‘La Pica’ in Monagas, has been confirmed,” Himiob wrote. According to the organization, which cares for political prisoners in the South American country, Medina Díaz was transferred on Saturday to an emergency hospital. “Due to pressure from his cellmates”, where he died of respiratory arrest.
#29Ago 1:40 PM Confirmed the death of Gabriel Medina Díaz, who was being held in the “Nelson Mándela” annex of “La Pica” in Monagas. Due to pressure from his cellmates, he was taken to the “Manuel Núñez Tovar Hospital” yesterday, where he died of respiratory arrest.
— Gonzalo Himiob S. (@HimiobSantome) August 29, 2021
In the same way, it has denounced that the man was in preventive detention without conviction since April 24, 2020 and, according to Alfredo Romero, president of the NGO, Medina had “More than a month in serious health without medical attention.”
Tuberculosis as a cause
For its part, Una Ventana a la Libertad, another NGO that defends human rights in Venezuela, has said that Medina died of tuberculosis, one of the most common conditions in prisons in the country. «It is the first (death) that is known in the Nelson Mandela, where there is a prison regime. Internal sources assured A Window to Freedom this Sunday that his death occurred due to not receiving timely medical attention, including an early diagnosis of his illness.
According to a publication of the NGO, the source consulted has said that in the report of the chest film “it is read that Gabriel had basal pneumonia, cardiomegaly and total kidney failure. This Sunday morning he went into respiratory arrest. The autopsy report specified that the cause of death was tuberculosis. “
Accused of kidnapping Cabello
Medina had been detained for a year for an alleged plan to arrest and hand over to the United States authorities the first vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv), Diosdado Cabello. Nicolás Maduro’s regime sent him to jail along with eight other people. It is expected that on September 1 the trial of all will begin, a trial that Medina also expected.
The nine people were charged with treason, formation of armed groups, criminal association, and arms and ammunition trafficking.
Foro Penal has also said that the man is the ninth political prisoner to die in custody since 2014. According to the organization, until last Monday, in Venezuela 265 political prisoners were counted, of which 250 are men and 15 are women.