ST. CHARLES – Stephanie Rodrigues wants people to know about the atrocities being committed in Venezuela under the authoritarian government of Nicolás Maduro.
Rodrigues is originally from Venezuela and currently lives in Chicago. Earlier this year, the human rights group Amnesty International presented a report showing evidence of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions and deaths and injuries because of excessive use of force by Maduro’s government.
Rodrigues' young brother was captured and tortured with electric shocks by the Maduro government during a peaceful protest in 2017. Rodrigues wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary "Venezuela the Truth" and will talk about the film during a program at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the St. Charles Public Library, One South 6th Ave. in St. Charles. She is also one of the editors of the documentary.
Those who would like to attend are advised to register as seating is limited. They can register at the library's reference desk, by calling 630-584-0076, ext. 1, or online at scpld.org.
Her script for the documentary puts a human face on what is happening in Venezuela.
"This piece was more about the people and how they were suffering and not so much about the political stuff and not so much about the economic stuff," Rodrigues said. "It was more about how people were handling it and how the families have been broken."
Rodrigues had to flee Venezuela after the documentary was done.
"I had to leave the country in three days because my team made me," she said. "They were afraid that something could happen in Venezuela to me. I was the only one on the team in Venezuela."
Her brother was detained for 48 hours in a military jail and she is grateful that what happened to him was not as bad as it could have been.
"There are other kids and older people that have been there for months or years," Rodrigues said.
She hopes the documentary will educate people about what is happening in Venezuela.
"I want the world to know what is going on in Venezuela," Rodrigues said. "Because what is going on in Venezuela could happen in every other country."