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‘Venezuelan Baby Reindeer’ arrested in Spain


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Spanish police have arrested a Venezuelan woman and her brother accused of stalking dozens of women in her home country in a case echoing the Netflix hit series Baby Reindeer.

Rebeca García, 33, and her brother, Francisco, were detained in a supermarket in Madrid on Monday after being recognised by other Venezuelan citizens a week after her case went viral in South America.

Her alleged stalking emerged after the autobiographical Netflix series – written by and starring Scottish actor Richard Gadd – prompted several women in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, to post about their own traumatic experiences.

They allege that Ms García had become obsessed with them, following them in the street, contacting them repeatedly, and behaving in bizarre and threatening ways, but the police refused to take their claims seriously because of the perpetrator’s gender and apparent mental illness.

Spanish media have nicknamed her the “Venezuelan Baby Reindeer”.

One alleged victim, Claudia Aguirrezabal, accused Ms García of writing her a sexually-explicit book of more than 500 pages and, on another occasion, breaking into her apartment block and sending her a message saying: “The killer is inside the house.”

‘I am going to kill them’

In another email, Ms Aguirrezabal claimed on Instagram, Ms García had threatened her friends, writing: “If somebody is touching you, I am going to kill them as that is disrespectful to us and our relationship.”

She added that although she went to the same school as Ms García they were five years apart and the pair did not actually know each other.

Pictures and video also emerged of Ms Garcia mounting the vehicles of her victims and staring in through the windscreen as she allegedly harassed them.

Ms Aguirrezabal is one of several women who have been complaining to the police in Caracas about Ms García since at least 2019. But they were ignored, they say, based on the sexist fallacy that women do not stalk other women.

But the official response changed overnight last week after the social media allegations from multiple women against Ms García went viral. That prompted Venezuela’s attorney general Tarek William Saab to request her extradition from Spain.

He said he had asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” international arrest warrant for the crimes of Promotion and Incitation of Hate and Pornographic Exhibition of Children and Adolescents, and Criminal Conspiracy.

Mr Saab added: “These subjects dedicated themselves for more than seven years to stalking and harassing women and children, causing terror and fear in the victims.”

He also revealed that Ms García had been interned nine times in a clinic between 2018 and 2021, and her brother once, for “borderline personality disorder, mental disorder from the consumption of psychoactive substances and acute psychopathy.”

The attorney general also had a dig at Spain’s past refusal to extradite Venezuelans back to their home country on account of the threat posed by the country’s authoritarian regime, saying that he hoped Madrid would not categorize the “depraved” siblings as “politically persecuted.”.

Meanwhile, local police in Caracas raided the house they shared, Mr Saab added. They also interviewed Ms Aguirrezabal and another alleged victim, Andreina de Trindade.

Ms Trinidade has alleged that García sent gifts to her workplace, emailed her crude messages, daubed walls near her home with explicit graffiti and called her from multiple different phone numbers.

“Rebeca is a woman who has dedicated her life to harassing innocent women,” she wrote. “I am fed up with the law protecting her just for being a woman.”

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