Wuilly Arteaga

Wuilly Arteaga

Wuilly Arteaga is a 23-year-old Venezuelan violinist and pro-democracy activist who has become an unexpected symbol of the country’s democratic opposition. Arteaga initially taught himself violin by watching YouTube videos. He later secured a spot in Venezuela’s renowned “El Sistema” music education program. Since anti-government demonstrations erupted last April, Arteaga, dressed in the colors of his country and armed only with his musical instrument, has played the violin at the front lines of the protests amidst riot police, armed vehicles, and tear gas. Two months ago, Arteaga was arrested while playing the violin during a protest in Caracas and taken to a military prison. While in custody, he was subject to torture at the hands of the Bolivarian National Guard and forced to watch soldiers rape a female protester.