Two weeks ago, when Fernando Alban went to the United Nations headquarters in New York, he didn’t know that he was signing his own death certificate.

The councilman of Primero Justicia — a dissident Venezuelan political party — joined the opposition delegation headed by former President of the National Assembly Julio Borges, who during the U.N. General Assembly publicly condemned the government of Nicolas Maduro along with the most powerful countries in the region.

For the regime, these diplomatic actions constitute a crime of treason.

Alban's wife and two children live in New York — one more family that has joined the largest diaspora in Latin American history. Today, they cry without consolation, like their friends, colleagues, and members of the wounded Venezuelan opposition. The story of Alban’s end began with his arrest last Friday, and ended 72 hours later with a highly suspicious fall from the 10th floor of the headquarters of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service — the socialist regime's political police.

Alban's friends and family know that he stood out for his deep religiosity. They are convinced that the great promoter of the solidarity food pots in the parish of San Pedro did not commit suicide.

On Saturday, Primero Justicia denounced the kidnapping of Alban by SEBIN officials at Simon Bolivar International Airport. In its statement, the opposition party strongly condemned the detention, which they described as a ‘‘violent and repressive action of the dictatorship’’ while blaming Maduro for Alban's life and physical integrity. The regime’s official version of the events is that the councilman was interrogated for his alleged role in the supposed attack on President Nicolas Maduro on Aug. 4 in Caracas. That was when two drones exploded in the middle of a military act. He then supposedly requested to go to the bathroom and threw himself from the 10th floor of the building.

Meanwhile, PJ’s leader Julio Borges, an opposition congressman in exile in Colombia, said on Twitter that the information about Alban's death ‘‘ran like rumors since morning.’’

‘‘I spoke with his wife ... and she told me that all the people who spoke with him yesterday saw him strong, solid, with conviction. She said that they were pressuring him to incriminate a whole lot of people with the subject of the attack on Maduro, and today we see the result of that," he added in the audiovisual material. ‘‘Today, Fernando Alban is dead, and no one knows the answer beyond repression and fear, but I can tell you with all conviction that this is not going to go unpunished.’’

Several testimonies taken from SEBIN officials by opponents and local journalists agree that Alban suffered torture and ill-treatment, a common practice at the SEBIN's headquarters. ‘‘They tortured him with a bag over his face, dipped him in a barrel of water and tortured him with electricity. Finally, he died," claimed deputy Juan Miguel Matheus in tears from the podium of the Assembly, where the body of his friend was veiled yesterday. ‘‘Then [his body] was thrown out the window,’’ added Councilman Jesus Armas.

The newspaper El Nuevo Pais spoke to another official, who said that ‘‘he died of the torture, his ribs were fractured and his heart was pierced.... The smoothest option was the window.’’

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also announced that it will investigate Alban's death, while the European Union demanded that the official investigation be ‘‘rigorous and independent’’. Luis Almagro, general secretary of the Organization of American States, also denounced the death of the opposition activist. ‘‘We condemn the death of Fernando Alban, direct responsibility of a [torturing] and homicidal regime. This criminal dictatorship must leave Venezuela now," Almagro said in his statement.

Maduro's critics say the president is using forced arrests, extortion, and extrajudicial assassinations to stifle his opponents and consolidate his power at a time when socialist Venezuela faces unsustainable political chaos, economic recession, and scarcity — a cocktail that has pushed millions of citizens to emigrate.

Jorge Carrasco writes from Brazil.