MARIA ELENA UZCATEGUI #MeCuadroConEllas

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When María Elena Uzcátegui was taken by the National Guard from her apartment in Barquisimeto, Lara State, on September 12, 2014, the colonel in charge told her that he was happy because he was carrying a trophy, “the queen of the guarimba”. Uzcátegui, who had not had a traffic ticket in her life, was arrested for sheltering students who were protesting in her home. In the raid they planted explosives, mortars, tear gas bombs; and they stole foreign currency, a passport, a tablet and her cell phone. In total there were 47 detainees that night. They were transferred to the detachment, where the women, including Maria Elena, slept and ate on the floor. On Tuesday 16 they were transferred to the courts and, to their surprise, when they were dictating the charges of all, she was told that she was being deprived of her liberty and that she would go to the female annex of the Uribana prison. “When you get there, the worst humiliation begins,” she says. Uzcátegui was detained for three months in that place. Her story is part of our #MeCuadroConEllas campaign.