Gabriel Osio Zamora, Venezuelan Citizen
In 2010, my business partners and I became the target of a vicious political persecution by the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, who ordered the control of and ultimately the elimination of brokerage firms purely for political reasons. The Venezuelan President considered that brokerage firms jeopardized the economic system that he called “Socialism of the XXI century.” At the time, I was President of the Board of Directors of Grupo de Empresas Econoinvest a Holding and Public company. COB and Executive Director of Econoinvest Casa de Bolsa, C.A., the largest investment company in Venezuela at that time, Vice President of the Caracas Stock Exchange and President of The Venezuelan Brokers Association. Acting under the complete control of the executive branch, special police forces arbitrarily and unlawfully detained my business partners. As was later recognized by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and by the U.S. Department of State in their Venezuelan country reports, my business partners were held in violation of their basic human rights and in violation of their right to personal liberty and due process under the law. The Venezuelan courts also ordered that an Interpol Red Notice be issued against me personally. In 2012, after numerous filings with the Commission for Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) in Lyon, France, Sandra Grossman and her team were able to obtain deletion of the Red Notice. The CCF wrote that after re-examining Ms. Grossman’s legal arguments and evidence, it considered that the case against me was “predominantly political in nature and consequently fell within the scope of Article 3 of Interpol’s Constitution.” The information about me was permanently deleted from Interpol’s files. The CCF’s decision constituted firm confirmation that the Red Notice against me had been issued by weak, provisional judges who executed arbitrary criminal proceedings against me in violation of my human rights. Ms. Grossman’s assistance, her utter dedication to my case, her knowledge of international human rights law, and her unwavering advocacy were critical in my success before Interpol. I would highly recommend her and her team in any related proceedings.