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Tomeu's Story

A husband of 36 years, father of three, new grandfather, brother, & 35-year career engineer remains hostage in Venezuela. He's dearly missed by his family and community. Help him come home!

Tomeu Vadell was kidnapped during a work meeting for Citgo Petroleum Corporation in Caracas, Venezuela on November 21, 2017, along with five others, collectively known as the "Citgo 6." Tomeu and the others remain unjustly deprived of freedom, their whereabouts currently unconfirmed. After spending the first 748 days in the basement of a counterintelligence military agency headquarters called the DGCIM (Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence) in Caracas, Venezuela, they were granted "house" arrest. Then, on February 5, 2020 and 58 days into house arrest, the men were taken without a court order by the SEBIN (Bolivarian National Intelligence Service). They are believed to be in the Helicoide (HQ for SEBIN), but no phone calls or lawyer access have been allowed. 


They have suffered deplorable conditions, mental/physical tortures, and arbitrary delays in due process including:

  • Extreme malnutrition with a diet of 600 calories per day for the first 10 months. Tomeu lost 60 lbs and his wife did not recognize him the first time she visited him in July 2018, after eight and a half months without family visits. She has seen him twice since (April and August 2019) and expresses that he remains quite thin but somewhat recovered from the almost year of malnutrition.

  • Inhumane treatment in overcrowded cells with unhygienic conditions, lack of regular access to fresh air or natural sunlight. Artificial light shines at all hours in this basement, largely impacting his body's circadian rhythm.

  • Lack of regular access to healthcare while having various personal ailments, such as cardiovascular issues, that are typical of a man with 60 years of age. Shortly before the kidnapping, his cardiologist had requested that he be checked in three months, but he has not had his follow-up.

  • Isolation from family and lawyers for the first 33 days and without calls for months at a time. With his immediate family in the United States, he has not had regular visits. Requests for friend or religious visits have been denied.

  • No trial after bring held for more than two years, which is unlawful according to Venezuelan law. 15 preliminary hearings were deferred, with the 16th preliminary hearing resulting in a formal accusation after one year and a half of detention. There remains no proof of wrongdoing.

Despite all efforts by his family and massive support, Tomeu is not home. We call for all stakeholders including Nicolas Maduro & others in a position of power in Venezuela, Juan Guaido, the United States government, and the entire international community to please secure Tomeu Vadell's immediate and unconditional release!

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