Venezuelan victim of political persecution wins asylum
Client(s) Client S
Jones Day obtained a grant of asylum on behalf of Client S, a Venezuelan woman persecuted for her political opposition to the dictatorial regime of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Client S was a member of a minority political party in Venezuela and was outspoken in her campaign for democracy and the rule of law. Acting on these beliefs, she became a lawyer and used her legal skills to represent other political dissidents against the government. She also planned and hosted minority party meetings, coordinated and attended marches against the government, and campaigned against President Maduro. Because of her political advocacy, armed pro-government colectivos launched a campaign of persecution against her. The harassment and threats quickly intensified, and at various times the colectivos targeted her home and her family with threats and violence, beat her unconscious, and held her at gunpoint. Because of the persecution, Client S fled to another town in Venezuela, but even that was not enough; she was soon discovered and threatened.
Knowing nowhere in Venezuela was safe, she embarked on a treacherous journey to the U.S. border where she sought asylum. Jones Day submitted preliminary briefing to the Immigration Court, which included substantial documentation corroborating key facts in her story. At the hearing, within thirty minutes, the judge granted our client asylum, commenting that his decision was in large part due to the extensive briefing Jones Day filed on behalf of our client.