Detained Venezuelan Navy Officer Rafael Acosta Dies After Alleged Torture in State Custody Under Maduro Regime

Rafael Acosta, the navy captain who died in custody in Venezuela

A Venezuelan military officer accused of participating in a coup against President Nicolás Maduro has died in custody, Reuters reports. Navy captain Rafael Acosta was reportedly tortured while in detention, and his wife Waleska Perez said Acosta was barely conscious during a court hearing he attended on Friday due to the treatment. “They tortured him so much that they killed him,” Perez said in an interview with a Miami television station. Venezuela’s Prosecutor General Tareek Saab announced he is opening an investigation into the death. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has been deemed Venezuela’s legitimate interim president by the U.S. and 50 other governments, said of Acosta’s death: “Do they not hear? From the grave, from basements where people are being tortured, the people (are calling for) a change.” Acosta’s death comes just after United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet made a visit to the country to investigate human rights violations by Maduro’s government.

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SOURCE: The Daily Beast – Marianne Dodson