Mariela Pérez Branger, Miss Venezuela 1967
Miss Universe 1967's 1st. runner up
Being closed inscription for Miss Venezuela Pageant, and one week left to the final night, OPPA Organization decided to enroll the last contenders who everybody suspect she would be the winner; Mariela Perez Branger, which sash was assigned as Miss Vargas. On final night, June 15, 1967, the young of Venezuelan jet set, won easily the crown, the show was held in Military Academy Theater, with 16 contenders vying for the crown.
Perez Branger born in Caracas on February 14, 1946, her zodiacal sign is aquarium; she was 21 years old, 1.76 mts. tall, 58 kgr. weight and black hair color. She was studying Pharmacy; she speaks English, in Coronation ball Mariela was crowned by Margareta Arvidsson, Miss Universe 1966 of Sweden. In that date Venezuela was more linking with Europe in stead of Latin America, in which were invited all beauty queens from old Continent including India and Turkey because of celebration of 400 years of Caracas.
Miss Venezuela 1967 Coronation ball was celebrated in Hotel Avila in Caracas on June 17, the cover was so expensive. Minutes after crowning moment Mariela and friends went to eat arepas in Chacaito, where the policies came and ask for ID everybody, but winner’s luxury Cartier bag was small, she did not carry her ID, Mariela’s friends (Guillermo Zuloaga, Vicente Emilio Velutini and veteran journalist Miriam Fletcher among others) told them, she just was elected as the most beautiful of the country, the policies did not believe them and almost carries them to jail.
Days after the final night some contenders protest against the results, through out the press, leading by Berta Piña, Miss Lara, with others contenders, Aragua, Carabobo, Caracas, Distrito Federal, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Sucre and Yaracuy. They thought Mariela’s triumph was fixed, the group was known as “the ugly’s club”.
Perez Branger went to Miss Universe 1967 in Miami, USA, where she was Sylvia Hitchcock’s first runner up of USA, it was the first time in history Venezuela placed high in Miss Universe, the same day of the contest (July 29, 1967) occurred a big earthquake in Caracas, Venezuela, where many buildings fell down completely and there were many people killed.
Mariela had an intense romance with American actor George Hamilton (host of Miss Universe 1997) but they never married, later she married Vicine Cabral of Dominican Rep. in December 1970 where she lives actually, Mariela was judge in Miss Venezuela 2001.
Collaboration of Josept Gomez (Venezuela)