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Jul 18, 2023 | In The News

ABC 7 Los Angeles

A bipartisan resolution in Congress is urging the release of an L.A. County public defender who has been wrongfully detained in a Venezuelan jail since March of 2022.

The resolution is led by Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who represents a district in Los Angeles County.

“Eyvin Hernandez is my constituent. He is from Los Angeles. He is an angel from the city of angels, and it is time that we bring Eyvin home,” she said at a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol building on Tuesday.

Hernandez was arrested after he tried to help a friend resolve a passport issue at the Colombia-Venezuela border, where he was accused of criminal association and conspiracy, which are punishable with up to 16 years in jail in Venezuela.

“He was asked to pay a bribe to cross into Venezuela and was then accused of being a spy,” said Rep. Young Kim, R-Orange County.

Kim, Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-Los Angeles and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, also joined in creating the resolution.

The group also urged on the State Department and Biden Administration to get Hernandez home.

“The Biden administration and the state department must do whatever it takes to bring him home,” Kamlager-Dove said.

Hernandez is being held in a maximum security prison in Caracas.

He was born in El Salvador but immigrated to the U.S. Hernandez has been an L.A. County public defender for 15 years and graduated from UCLA.

In a secretly recorded statement last August, Hernandez is heard asking for help getting himself and other Americans out.

“We’re all innocent. We’re all being charged and treated as terrorists. There’s no such thing as a fair trial here,” Hernandez is heard saying.

“Congress needs to send a strong message that the United States will not tolerate the wrongful detention of our citizens because Americans are not political pawns,” said Castro.

Hernandez’s father, Pedro Hernandez, is desperate to have his son back. At one point, he went down on his knees to beg President Biden to meet with him and his family.

“I feel so guilty for my son to be there,” said Hernandez. “Please, Mr. President, I’m begging you. Help me bring my son back!”

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