Eyvin Hernandez: Los Angeles attorney in Venezuelan prison

A Los Angeles-based lawyer is behind bars in South America after loved ones say he took a wrong turn near the Colombia-Venezuela border, got kidnapped, and is now accused of being an American spy.

Eyvin Hernandez, who has worked with the public defender's office for well over 15 years, got caught in a nightmare scenario during his vacation trip to Colombia back in March 2022. After making the wrong turn and ending up near the Venezuelan side of the border, Hernandez was framed by the Venezuelan government over criminal association and conspiracy allegations. Hernandez has since been in Venezuelan custody for more than a year.

Earlier in July 2023, a group of lawmakers – including California's Rep. Young Kim and Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove – joined Hernandez's loved ones to call for the release of the Southern California-based lawyer.

Earlier in Hernandez's ongoing captivity, the community has previously pushed the Biden Administration to step in. As Southern California awaits updates on Hernandez, Rep. Kamlager-Dove have since co-authored a bipartisan resolution that would ask the Biden Administration to secure the LA-based attorney's release.

"We just learned that this legislation is going to go in markup next week," Rep. Kamlager-Dove said Monday, July 25. " This is a really big win and the hope is that it will pass through the Foreign Affairs Committee and then find its way to the floor."

Hernandez's charges could amount to a 16-year sentence in Venezuela. For more information on Hernandez and the community's push for his release, click here for details.