Even if Chamel is released, his reputation has been ruined. "How can you call them terrorists on national television without any kind of proof that these guys did it?" Romero says, adding that the family has received death threats. Meanwhile, the same state TV channel that smeared the Akls has yet to report that the most serious charges have been dropped.

"Chamel and Richard had nothing to do with the attack on the police station," Romero says. "That's the truth. But in the eyes of Venezuela, they've already got the guys who did it."

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