December 20, 2023
Dana Boldt, Public Information Specialist
Garcia issues statement on release of L.A. County Deputy Public Defender following unlawful detention in a Venezuelan prison
The Los Angeles County Public Defender Ricardo D. Garcia issued the following statement today, reacting to an announcement by The White House that Deputy Public Defender Eyvin Hernandez was among those released in a Venezuelan prisoner swap.
“As the Los Angeles Public Defender, I am delighted to announce that one of our attorneys, Eyvin Hernandez, has finally been released after nearly two years of unlawful detention in a Venezuelan prison.
We have just received confirmation that Eyvin was among the 10 American people released today after talks between the Venezuelan government and the Biden Administration. He is now on the plane for the joyful journey back to his home, his family, and his overjoyed colleagues.
It has been a long, hard road to this moment. Eyvin, a widely respected public defender and advocate for human rights, was unlawfully detained in March 2022 while on vacation in Columbia near the Venezuelan border with friends.
Since then, his family and colleagues have mounted an all-out effort through social media, fundraisers, and other means to raise money and work for his freedom. Earlier this month, Eyvin himself sent a letter personally appealing to President Biden for help in securing his release.
On behalf of all 1,200 members of the Public Defender’s Office, I want to extend our gratitude to the Administration and everyone who has fought so hard to make this day a reality.
We are looking forward to the time when, after he’s had time to recover and rest, Eyvin will return to his rightful place as an advocate in court for the indigent and vulnerable of Los Angeles County.”