Student activist from Venezuela obtains asylum
Jones Day obtained asylum on behalf of K.P, who, at the age of 20, was forced to flee Venezuela because he opposed the Venezuelan government and its president, Nicolás Maduro.
As a university student, K.P. led a politically focused student group. K.P. both organized and spoke at a number of protests, often addressing how Venezuela's economic crisis was devastating its school system. Because of his activism, pro-Maduro students and faculty forced him out the university. K.P. continued his political activities as the Secretary of Social Justice for Primero Justicia—a political group that opposed the Maduro government. K.P. mobilized protestors, educated his community about how Maduro's policies were destroying Venezuela, and encouraged Venezuelans to vote for the opposition party candidates.
Because K.P. was a well-known political activist, he was repeatedly beaten and threatened with death by government groups loyal to Maduro, including leaders of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, and colectivos (a government-backed paramilitary group). At one protest, colectivos beat K.P. to such an extreme that he lost consciousness en route to the hospital. Other times, he was attacked at his own home. Fearing for his life, K.P. fled Venezuela.
The immigration judge determined that K.P. plausibly feared persecution if he returned to Venezuela, and granted his application for asylum. K.P. was elated when he learned that his application had been granted, and he was grateful to the Jones Day team for their representation.