Jailed former Venezuelan minister dies of COVID-19

By Deisy Buitrago
FILE PHOTO: Former general Raul Baduel (C) walks out from his house in Maracay, Venezuela August 13, 2015. REUTERS/Pablo Ramos/File Photo

Former Venezuelan Defense Minister and retired general Raul Baduel, considered a political prisoner by the opposition, has died after contracting coronavirus, the attorney general said on Tuesday.

Baduel was arrested in 2009 on corruption charges after falling out with the Socialist Party, eventually placed on house arrest and then re-jailed in 2017 for allegedly conspiring against Maduro.

Margareth Baduel and Andreina Baduel, daughters of former Venezuelan Defense Minister and retired general Raul Baduel who died this week while in government custody, leave the Morgue de Bello Monte in Caracas, Venezuela October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria

"We regret the death of Raul Isaias Baduel from cardiac-respiratory failure, the product of COVID-19, though he was receiving the corresponding medical care and had gotten the first dose of the vaccine," attorney general Tarek Saab said in a Twitter post.

Saab did not specify whether Baduel was hospitalized or in prison when he died. He had been held at a Sebin intelligence police site.

Human rights groups blamed the government for his death.

Margareth Baduel, daughter of former Venezuelan Defense Minister and retired general Raul Baduel who died this week while in government custody, addresses the media outside the Morgue de Bello Monte in Caracas, Venezuela October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria

"With the death of Raul Isaias Baduel there are ten political prisoners who have died in custody," activist Gonzalo Himiob said on Twitter. "The responsibility for the life and health of any prisoner falls on the state."

Last year Baduel's daughter told Reuters he had not yet been tried on the second tranche of accusations against him and that his lawyers had been unable to access his case file.

(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Nayeska Baduel, daughter of former Venezuelan Defense Minister and retired general Raul Baduel who died this week while in government custody, leaves the Morgue de Bello Monte in Caracas, Venezuela October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria

What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.