The sketches that appear here were collected from Helegner Tijera Moreno, a former Venezuelan army officer, who fled his country to seek asylum in the U.S. Instead, he has been detained for nearly two years at the Otero County Detention Center in New Mexico and denied parole.

Helegner arrived in the U.S. in September 2016. He filed for asylum, telling U.S. agents that Venezuelan military intelligence considers him a traitor for speaking out against the Maduro government.
Refugees have streamed out of Venezuela as the economy has collapsed under President Nicolas Maduro’s repressive regime. While the U.S. publicly condemns Maduro’s policies and tyranny, the number of Venezuelan immigrants it has deported has risen dramatically over the past year.
“I’m not a criminal. I am a moral person of good principles and values. My only problem is I don’t share the politics of the government currently leading my country,” Helegner said in an August article published by McClatchy.
In April, Helegner filed an appeal with the 10th Circuit — but such appeals can take over a year to process. In the meantime, Helegner remains in detention. He has a teenage son.

You can read more about Helegner here: