Sofia Peña

Sofia Peña
Media
Image
A portrait of Sofia Peña, with greying and slightly curled shoulder-length hair and wearing a black sweater.

Sofia Peña in 2047.

Birth name

Sofia Peña-Orrego Alcántara

Born

May 8th 1987 (age 62) in Caracas, Venezuela

Nationality
Spouse

Jonathan Welke (2023 - present)

Sofia Peña (born May 8th 1987) is a Venezuelan sociologist, politician, educator, artist, and activist. Born in Caracas, she became involved with political activism during the Venezuelan opposition to the Chávez and Maduro governments. In 2014, Peña moved to London City, where she worked as a researcher in the healthcare industry. She moved to Bilbao, Spain in 2024 and became active in the cultural sector.

In 2039, Peña joined the administration of incumbent Venezuelan President Milagros Soto as her chief of staff. From 2040 to 2041, Peña served as Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to then-United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Luis Carlos Díaz. After resigning her position along with Díaz in February 2041, Peña returned to Bilbao and became a research fellow at the University of the Basque Country, where she developed an influential body of work on the sociopolitical dynamics of G6.

On October 6th 2049, Peña was arrested in Croatia in connection with the death of Connie Muren, whose body was recovered in Zadar. The incident is currently under investigation, with Peña remaining in custody.

Early life and education

Sofia Peña was born Sofia Peña-Orrego Alcántara on May 8th 1987 in Caracas, Venezuela. She is the youngest of two children born to Ignacio Peña-Orrego, an antiquarian, and Isabel Alcántara, an anthropologist and online activist. Her father is of shared Catalan-Peruvian descent and her mother comes from a Spanish family in Venezuela. Peña showed a creative side at an early age, leading her mother to enroll her into art lessons at the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Art Gallery in Caracas.

Peña attended private catholic school for her primary and secondary education, and studied Sociology at the Central University of Venezuela, graduating with honours in 2011. During and after her studies, Peña performed field work with indigenous communities for several independent institutions and government ministries. In 2014, Peña moved to London City and enrolled at the SOAS University, graduating with a Masters in History in 2017.

Activism

Peña became involved with political activism at the age of twelve, when she began to accompany her mother to various protests against the Chávez government in Caracas. In April 2002, Peña and her mother were trapped by a shootout at the Llaguno Overpass that preceded the 2002 coup attempt. With her mother “in disbelief and unable to move,” Peña grabbed her by the hand and quickly led her past the barricades that were being erected by the military.

In 2004, several of Peña’s family members, including her mother and brother, were added to the Tascón List, which subjected them to discrimination and harassment from the government. During the 2014 protests, Peña began passing out flyers in the apartment building where she lived, since Twitter was the only reliable source of information and many people did not have internet access. When her work drew the attention of others, she became an informal organiser in a campaign to verify and disseminate actionable information. Using a pseudonym as cover, Peña started the VZLA Reporte newsletter and created #Volantear tags for different areas so that people could coordinate their efforts locally.

When asked about her decision to get involved with the opposition in Venezuela, Peña has said that she “didn’t feel responsible, but motivated.” After the government began to crack down on elements of Peña’s operation, she moved to London City at the urging of her parents.

Career

From 2017 to 2019, Peña worked as a home care assistant and coordinator in London City. In March 2019, she began to work as a project manager for various market research companies active in the healthcare industry. In 2024, she moved to Bilbao, Spain to be closer to her parents, who had managed to leave Venezuela and settle in Spain that year. Through her mother’s continued activist work, Peña became involved with local communities, eventually joining Bilbao’s Department of Culture and Education in 2026. She assisted and led several research projects, and was promoted to the department’s director in 2034.

In 2037, Peña stepped down as director and took on an advisory role, allowing her to focus on her artistic pursuits. She developed her style across different visual arts, including prints, illustrations, paintings, embroidery, and digital art. She also organised workshops on sustainable art practices and collaborated with other artists, including Omera Rodríguez, Audrey Marin, Sai Miller, and Jamie Temple.

In June 2038, Peña returned to Venezuela to support Milagros Soto and the Voluntad de Cambio party in Venezuela’s parliamentary elections. Though not affiliated with Soto’s campaign in an official capacity, Peña was responsible for organising seminars and outreach events, coordinating with local advocacy groups, and advising on the specifics of the Voluntad de Cambio party platform, including its elements of liquid democracy. Following Voluntad de Cambio’s electoral victory on December 5th 2038, Peña joined Soto’s administration as her chief of staff in 2039.

United Nations

In April 2040, Peña was appointed as Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to then-United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Luis Carlos Díaz. This caused some controversy due to Peña’s lack of experience in a United Nations (UN) capacity, with political observers attributing the appointment to Díaz’s “hands-on interpretation of the powers and duties of his office.”

During her time at the UN, Peña pushed to redefine implementation of the R2P, eventually broadening it to include “deniable genocide through inaction towards, or acceleration of anthropogenic climate change” as an internationally punishable crime in response to the collapse of Bangladesh. On February 8th 2041, Peña ended her assignment as Special Advisor when Díaz announced his resignation as UNSG during the emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the international adoption of G6.

Research fellowship

In March 2041, Peña accepted a research fellowship at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, where she has developed a celebrated body of work on the sociopolitical dynamics of G6 and its use of neural colloids. [1][2] In July 2041, Peña worked with World News Wire (WNW) on a long-form documentary that explored the “connective tissue” between the CMD pandemic and G6, including a segment on Peña’s influential “trickle-down panic” theories on the causes and progression of the pandemic. When the documentary was released, Peña was met with criticism for a soundbite in which she called CMD phobia “a lie.” She later clarified that WNW had edited her words out of context, and that she “did not mean to dismiss individual cases of CMD phobia, only that its prevalence is exaggerated for political gain.”

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A photo of Sofia Peña and Atakan Selvi during a speaking engagement for the Open G6 Initiative in 2042. They are both seated at a table while answering questions from the audience.

Sofia Peña (left) and Atakan Selvi (right) at an Open G6 Initiative conference in 2043.

In 2042, Peña collaborated with Efua Amankwah-Crouse on a research study about the impact of G6’s 2040 data aggregation on credit and reputation scores in G6-BASIC countries. As part of the study, Peña conducted several surveys of Venezuelans expatriates, finding that their scores were being negatively weighted due to the mass data collection also encompassing the Tascón List and other politically biased records.

In 2043, Peña organised a series of European conferences for the Open G6 Initiative alongside Atakan Selvi, whom she had met through Amankwah-Crouse. Peña has credited Selvi with “teaching [her] a thing or two about infosec.” On May 8th 2047, her 60th birthday, Peña announced her retirement from public life.

Controversy

Death of Connie Muren

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A still from a livestream issued by Sofia Peña, who is looking into the camera with a strained expression. Two bodies are seen behind her, one of them covered by a sheet and the other just visible from the other room.

Still from a livestream issued by Sofia Peña in 2049, showing the bodies of Volya Kirienko and Connie Muren behind her.

On October 6th 2049, Peña issued a livestream from an undisclosed location in Zadar, Croatia, claiming that Connie Muren had been murdered by a Russian man, later identified as Volya Kirienko, and that she had managed to kill Kirienko in self-defence. Peña provided no explanation for her presence in Croatia or connection with Muren, mentioning only that Muren’s death, as well as her 2040 disappearance, were part of “an ongoing cover-up.”

Peña was arrested by local police less than half an hour after the livestream. According to witness reports, Peña was found “sitting outside an abandoned storefront, smoking a cigarette,” and immediately complied with the arresting officers, stating only that the cigarette was her “first in thirty years.” [3] An investigation has indicated that Peña’s smartphone records and social media profiles showed no activity after September 17th 2049, and that her spouse, Jonathan Welke, had not reported Peña’s absence. On October 7th 2049, Welke was brought in for questioning by Spanish authorities, claiming no knowledge of Peña’s actions.

Personal life

Peña has one older brother, Diego, an engineer living in Spain. She is in a mutually committed relationship with Jonathan Welke, a German archaeologist and writer whom she had met in London City in 2018.

References

  1. Peña, S. (May 2043). “Observations of the adaptation and evolution of the Panopticon theorem.” Academia
  2. Peña, S; Grigaite, L; Wolfermann, V et al. (September 2044). “From the Inquisition to G6: Institutions of control and their regional variations.” CHI
  3. Vučković, H. (October 2049). “Connie Muren found dead in Croatia after disappearance nine years ago.” Zadarski list