Vigils held to commemorate CITGO 6 anniversary of imprisonment

It's now two years since the oil company executives were taken into custody in Venezuela
Updated: Nov. 21, 2019 at 7:01 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Two years ago, November 21, six executives from CITGO were unexpectedly captured in Venezuela-- and have been imprisoned there since.

They’ve come to be called the CITGO 6 and one of the local families held vigils on the anniversary, as part of continuing efforts to bring them back.

Two years ago, today, six executives from CITGO were unexpectedly captured in Venezuela-- and have been imprisoned there since.

It’s been a desperate time as loved ones of six CITGO executives pleaded with all who will listen to try help to bring the men home.

The family of Tomeu Vadell held a noon prayer vigil at our lady queen of heaven catholic church...

Monsignor Danny Torres prayed for the men and their captors reminding all of Jesus command to love their enemies.

Family members have feared for their loved ones' safety and health. Before and after photos show the toll, it has taken on Tomeu Vadell.

“I’ve graduated, I’ve started a new job and I feel like I’ve done a lot of things I would have liked for him to have been there just to hear his opinion or have some form of guidance from him. So, it’s been hard not experiencing that,” said Tomeu’s son, Diego Vadell.

Tomeu’s oldest daughter Veronica Weggeman admits it’s been really hard.

But she hopes the vigil will spread awareness and help move the captors to do what's right. She was able to speak to her dad for three minutes earlier this week.

“He’ was ready to receive the love and prayers and that he feels it when people send them his way. So, keep sending us your support because he really does feel it. And he’s so grateful and he wanted everyone to know that he’s happy that everyone is coming together to commemorate him and his coworkers.”

Tomeu Vadell and the others were working for CITGO in the U.S. when they were summoned to a meeting in Caracas, Venezuela and then captured. Citgo is owned by PDVSA, the state run oil company of Venezuela,

In a July update, the State Department said, “The United States has received numerous conflicting reports regarding the welfare and whereabouts of the wrongfully detained “CITGO 6” in Venezuela, and we insist that the former Maduro regime provide an immediate update on their condition. As we stated on July 8, the United States condemns the wrongful detention and treatment of these U.S. persons at the hands of an illegitimate regime. We continue to demand the immediate release of the CITGO 6.”

A second vigil took place between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Prien Lake Park.

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