By María Danieri.
Two nurses at Dr. Pedro Emilio Carrillo, a university hospital in Valera, Trujillo state, have been arrested in what fellows call an arbitrary fashion, accused of hiding and stealing medicines.
The hospital workers’ union vouched for the women, saying their arrest was irregular and demand their liberation.
According to Zulbia Torrealba, president of the Valera nurses’ professional college, the two women, Lisbeth Aldana and María Erminia Barrueta, supervisor and coordinator of the trauma and surgery services, are innocent. They were arrested after the finding of medicines in the emergency area, precisely saved for emergency purposes.
Torrealba says the stash is controlled by one of the denouncing doctors, who has the key from the cabinet, not the nurses. The union says the pharmacy and the directorate of supplies, where medicines were stored before, have been shut down, and now most medication is kept in the director’s office and similar areas.
The nurses were summoned to the office of the hospital’s director and arrested there. There was no flagrancy, Torrealba said, as Aldana was not even working at the time. They made her go back to her job only to arrest her, she complained, besides, without any evidence.
“It’s an arbitrary measure against two citizens who have devoted their lives to the hospital. The hospital Chief first, should have evidence of what are saying. The medicines were inside the institution, not found in their homes or bags, even more, Lisbeth was on a ten-day leave,” said Francis Aldana, Lisbeth’s sister.
The defense was not allowed to read a copy of the arrest report when the nurses were arraigned, Francis said.
Public hospitals in Venezuela are guarded 24/7 by forces loyal to the Nicolas Maduro regime, including the National Guard. For example, in Caracas, the university hospital is surrounded by armed gangs and access is impossible even for relatives of patients.
The heavy guard at hospitals began during the 2014 protests: wounded demonstrators were denied treatment and arrested.