May 24, 2022
Wiecza, fighting for a better future for Venezuela
Wiecza is a human rights lawyer and human rights defender from Venezuela. She is now staying at Shelter City Eindhoven and here she shares her story.
Wiecza’s human rights work
Wiecza works as the Regional Coordinator of the Apure Chapter of the Foro Penal, a human rights organization that provides pro bono legal assistance to victims of arbitrary detention, including political detainees. Foro Penal has been candidated two times for the Nobel Peace Prize thanks to their important human rights work.
In Wiecza’s words: “I’m a lawyer. I have been a human rights defender for more than 15 years, I have dedicated myself to the free assistance of people who are victims of violations of fundamental rights”.
She also works for several non-governmental organizations in the state of Apure, for which she provides her knowledge and skills as a human rights lawyer and experienced activist.
The current situation of Venezuela
“Venezuela, my country, is known as the pearl of the Caribbean, the little Venice that Christopher Columbus conquered, beautiful landscapes and very warm people in customs and hospitality” says Wiecza.
Venezuela is now suffering from a serious humanitarian crisis: hundreds of citizens have been unable to access their basic needs, such as food and health care. On top of that, the human rights situation in the country has worsened, with now countless human rights violations.
The work of human rights defenders such as Wiecza has been met by severe resistance and criminalization. In her words: “exercising the task of human rights defender becomes a challenge every day in the face of possible reprisals and criminalization.”
Fighting for a better future
Despite the difficulties of being a human rights defenders in Venezuela, Wiecza and her colleagues keep fighting: “This is an important mission, there are many of us who defend every day fundamental rights and we raise our voice on behalf of the victims and their families”.
For Wiecza, being a human rights defender means fighting for a better future for the next generations and guarantee that current violations are not repeated.
“For me, being a human rights defender means fighting for a better future for the next generations.”
What keeps her motivated is the vision of a better future for her country, her people and her family. She envisions a Venezuelan civil society that is systematic and organized and that “fights to recover its fundamental rights or assert them” and that, thanks to this, “our next generations fully enjoy and exercise all the rights for which we have fought”.
“Being a human rights defender is not only a satisfying job but it also fills me with hope for the future of my country and my people”
Wiecza’s stay at Shelter City
Wiecza is now staying in Eindhoven. Shelter City Eindhoven has recently joined the Shelter City movement and its team is excited to have Wiecza as their first guest.
According to Wiecza, “Shelter City has represented an extraordinary opportunity to get knowledge not only about the Netherlands but also the work they carry out in defense and support of human rights defenders.” She also really appreciates that Shelter City allows her to get a perspective on human rights in different regions of the world: being in a room with human rights defenders from more than 3 continents is for her a unique and invaluable experience.
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