Hasler Iglesias is a Venezuelan social and political activist forced into exile in 2022.
Iglesias first became a democracy and human rights activist in 2010, when he was elected as Security General of the Engineering Student’ Union at his university. Four years later, his activism intensified when he took part in the country’s Student Movement, leading peaceful demonstrations urging regime and policy reform. His devotion to the cause further developed in his position as National Youth Coordinator at Voluntad Popular – a progressive and socially democratic political party in Venezuela – and in his involvement in several civil society initiatives.
As Iglesias’ prominence within the country grew, he rapidly became a target of harassment and persecution by President Maduro. In 2015, he received death threats because of his activism. The following year, he was temporarily detained by authorities, preventing him from taking part in Venezuela’s Universal Periodic Review at the UN.
The Venezuelan regime’s persecution of Iglesias reached its peak in July 2021 when he and four other political leaders were falsely accused of cooperating with criminal gangs just days after an altercation with law enforcement. Arrest warrants were issued soon after, igniting a manhunt for the dissidents through a slew of raids and arbitrary detentions. Forced into hiding for six months, Iglesias narrowly escaped arrest and fled the country.
While Iglesias has since resettled in Spain, his commitment to Venezuela’s democratic cause persists. He supports on-the-field initiatives in his home country and continues denouncing the regime’s rampant human rights violations.