Six U.S. oil executives, who were thrown behind bars in Venezuela after being lured there on the pretext of a business meeting, were convicted of corruption on Thursday and immediately sentenced to difficult times in the country. The so-called Citgo 6 – Tomeu Vadell, Gustavo Cardenas, Jorge Toledo, Alirio Jose Zambrano, Jose Luis Zambrano and Jose Angel Pereira – has been sentenced between 8 and 13 years old, writes the Associated Press. Employees at the Houston-based refinery have been in the country for three years after being invited to a presumed budget meeting in November 2017 at the headquarters of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. There they were imprisoned and charged with embezzlement. critics say there is a complete lack of evidence.
The charges against them have also triggered the cleansing of President Nicolás Maduro at the country’s state-owned oil company. “We, the family, have a heartache to be even more detached from our loved ones,” Alirio Rafael Zambrano, the brother of the two men, told the Associated Press late late Thursday, classifying the case against them as “judicial terrorism”. “We pray that the leaders of our nation will move forward and continue to fight relentlessly for their freedom and human rights,” he said.
Read here: Associated Press