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Yonaide Sanchéz

HRD & Professor
Human Rights Program of the Lisandro Alvarado University

Yonaide Sanchéz is professor at the Cátedra de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad de Lisandro Alvarado (Human Rights Program of the Lisandro Alvarado University), in Barquisimeto, Lara. The defender has been active in the media, academic, social, popular and community sectors of Barquisimeto in Lara state, with a focus on accompanying victims of State violence and on supporting other human rights organisations.


HRDs have been working under restrictive policies for many years: the Maduro administration has continued the work begun by Chávez in restricting civil space and delegitimising HRDs, repeatedly accusing them of undermining the Venezuelan democracy with the alleged collaboration of the United States. HRDs are discredited and criminalised by state-controlled media (television, radio, print media) on a weekly basis.

The authorities have systematically undermined freedom of expression, which has not only affected HRDs and other critical voices, but has also created a more restrictive media environment. Indeed, HRDs who publicly speak out about human rights violations, including at the Inter-American Court for Human Rights, have also been subjected to restrictions in the private sphere, with surveillance of their email and communication being commonplace.