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March to be held for six CITGO executives jailed in Venezuela

CITGO executive Alirio Zambrano
Posted at 6:13 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 19:13:40-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — Six CITGO executives, including one from Corpus Christi, have been jailed in Venezuela for more than 650 days. A march is now being planned in Houston to call attention to their plight.

One of the organizers of the march is Alexandra Zambrano Forseth, who says the march is to bring hundreds of people together to help bring the CITGO six home.

Her father is Alirio Zambrano, one of the men who has been held in Venezuela for nearly two years. They're accused of embezzlement and treason. But their families say they're innocent, and are being kept in in-humane conditions, isolated, with no communication, and still waiting for answers.

"They're stable right now as far as we know," said Zambrano Forseth. "They're being able to get their food, they're being taken outside maybe once a week."

Zambrano Forseth last spoke to her father back in August. Coincidentally, when he called, she was in Washington D.C. to discuss her father's situation.

"We were just saying, 'it's just so good to hear your voice,' it's just wonderful to hear his voice," said Zambrano Forseth.

This summer, the Zambrano family met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make sure the CITGO six remain a priority.

It was in November 2017 that the six went to a business meeting in Venezuela. They were detained, accused by the Venezuelan government of stealing from CITGO, and they've been imprisoned there ever since.

"I just miss him so much," said Zambrano Forseth. "My dad is like everything to me. He's just such a joyous person and it's been super brutal to not have him."

Family and friends have been waiting nearly two years for the return of their loved ones. But this upcoming walk will be a chance to bring the U.S. government and the community together, showing power in numbers, in hopes of bringing the CITGO six back home safely.

"We're not scared, and we're not going to give up, and we're not going to stop until these guys are home," said Zambrano Forseth.

Zambrano Forseth also told KRIS 6 that no trial date has been set for the CITGO six.

So far about 300 people have signed up for the walk, and many of them are from Corpus Christi. There is also an online petition that has more than 600 signatures for those who are unable to attend.

The three-mile walk will take place in Houston on Sunday October 13th. Participants will walk six laps around Candlelight Park, in honor of each of the CITGO 6 who are detained. For more information about the walk, click here.