Venezuelan Woman Tells of Being Beaten by Police and Jailed on False Charges
The woman who was filmed being beaten by police earlier this week has spoken about her experience in an interview with a regional news station.
Wednesday Breitbart News posted video of a woman protester being held down on the street and beaten in the face with a police officer's metal helmet. We now know her name is Marvinia Jimenez. After being released from jail, Marvinia was interviewed by a station based in Columbia which is neither owned nor controlled by the Venezuelan government.
What follows is an English translation of the exchange made by my colleague Frances Martel. As you'll see, Marvinia claims she was merely recording the actions of riot police on her phone when they decided to beat her and then arrest her without any explanation.
Incredibly, Marvinia is now being charged with assaulting three officers, though she denies attacking anyone. An image of Marvinia's bruised face after the attack can be seen here.
NTN Host: Marvinia, good evening, thank you for your time, we know that your health is delicate. We want to know, after they set you free, how you feel today; welcome.
Marvinia: Look, thank God, I feel quite better, in the sense that they [doctors] tended to me yesterday after they set me free, under presentation obviously [supervised release]. They took me to the clinic and there they diagnosed me and everything, gave me medicine. My hematomas have lessened, and they checked my spine, but regarding the more delicate things I am much better.
Host: Our producers have gotten access, Ms. Marvinia, to various videos of your assault. We have confirmed them with your family, but I want to confirm with you now: are you the one being assaulted in these videos?
Marvinia: Yes, I am the woman receiving the full aggression of the officer.
Host: And what happened? How do you get to this assault?
Marvinia: I was in the area where there was a protest organized and I was recording with my telephone. In that moment, I begin to see that a little further beyond the regular police with long arms that are common at least here in Venezuela, a little further off I see three officers take out their weapons. I am recording and I see someone else with a phone camera ask "why do you have these weapons? why these weapons?" They approach them and me, and at that moment I was attacked by the three officers who grab me by the hand and try to take my phone away. I throw it to avoid them confiscating it because I have all my important video on it. And this one officer runs toward me and attacks me, you've seen the video, it is pretty horrible to relive it. And so they detain me and take me away without reason, they don't even tell me for one reason or another why they detain me or anything. They take me away tell me absolutely nothing. They violated me as a citizen, and when I fell into this horrible situation, they did not allow me to speak to my family, communicate with my lawyer, have an immediate medical exam, take photos of the hematomas I have-- which look like an aberration, which looks horrible, which looks humiliating.
Host: I understand that they have indicted you on five charges, among them assault on three officers of the National Guard. Is there something that happens before the video, were you armed-- how did you assault those officials according to the government, so that they can charge you with that?
Marvinia: Look, this is being processed already in the legal areas, being handled legally. I can tell you particularly that I attacked absolutely no one, all these charges are false, and there is no proof of that. They claim they have two injured officers and three witnesses. I can tell you-- there is a gentleman, Hector, who says Marvinia Jiménez brutally assaulted by them-- and we don't have two or three witnesses, we have a multitude of people, we have the entire Venezuelan community. Because, beyond ideology, all people, especially women, are indignant about this abuse to which I was a victim.
Host: Would you be able to identify who attacked you and those around them?
Marvinia: Of course, yes.
Host: Do you plan on taking legal action against the officers who attacked you?
Marvinia: Look, I'll explain. I have not had contact with lawyers or anyone while I was there. When I am released, my family had already-- I have a brother who is a lawyer-- had contacted, had found a way to find legal help... all that help is legal. The penal forum based on the legal team represented directly by the lawyer Jenny Gutiérrez did this entire service. Thanks to their intervention I have this warning order, I don't know what to call it, in which I am not deprived of my liberty, I am here at home and have to return to court every 45 days, and I expect to reach the highest [court]. I feel very, very, very informed of my rights.
Host: I want to end with this, Ms. Jiménez: What is happening in Venezuela?
Marvinia: What is going on here is national discontent. The measures they have taken have affected us all. I tell you, I am from the popular [Popular Party?] part of the state of Carabobo. I am from Isabelica, I am not from the north. You can look at the Tweets and how they refer to me, that I look like all sorts of things, the insults. There, in that thing, The President Talks, there is discrimination; there is racism in the way they refer to me. I am not ashamed at all: I am from the South. And the South is disgruntled. The South is hungry. The South is in need. And the South is taking the streets.