Thursday, June 15, 2017
He had just left his office by car and was passing a nearby church when the state security vans swooped in on Wilmer Azuaje.
Put on a military plane hours later on May 3, the 40-year-old regional lawmaker - one of the best-known opposition figures in the rural home state of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - has not been seen since.
"He's disappeared. They kidnapped him. There is complete silence," said his mother, Carmen Cordero, who has been traveling between Barinas state and the capital, Caracas, to seek information on him at the headquarters of national intelligence service Sebin.
There has been no official word on Azuaje's case, and requests to authorities for information went unanswered.
Azuaje is one of more than 3,000 activists, mainly young protesters, rounded up since massive demonstrations began against President Nicolas Maduro and the ruling Socialist Party at the start of April, according to rights groups.
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