The OAS accused Maduro “of providing impunity to the perpetrators of crimes against humanity” in Venezuela

The OAS accused Maduro “of providing impunity to the perpetrators of crimes against humanity” in Venezuela
The OAS accused Maduro “of providing impunity to the perpetrators of crimes against humanity” in Venezuela

Cover of the report prepared by the independent experts summoned by the OAS to analyze the human rights situation in Venezuela

(From Washington, United States) The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagrosummoned four independent international experts to review the human rights situation in Venezuela through public information and data provided by victims, their legal representatives and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Santiago Canton, Irwin Cotler, Manuel Ventura Robles and Joanna Frivet analyzed a representative sample of 183 notorious cases of human rights violations – murders, torture, arbitrary detention and political persecution – and their conclusion was the title of the report they presented at the historic headquarters of the OAS: “Impunity in Venezuela, green light for crimes against humanity.”

Almagro began the presentation of the report which took place in the Hall of the Americas, on the first floor of the OAS headquarters. Next to him, at a table on a platform, were the independent experts Cantón, Cotler, Robles and Frivet.

The work is very hard. It is the hardest job that has to be done as the General Secretary. We have a lot of work ahead of us. This is a moment of high repression in Venezuela, where torture continues to occur. Crimes against humanity are commonplace in the country. We need to stop crimes against humanity,” he emphasized. Almagro.

And he finished: “This is not an ideological issue., is a topic consubstantiated with the values ​​of justice. We need justice in Venezuela. “A country without justice is a country without a future.”

Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, presented the report on the crimes against humanity committed by the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela

Next, Santiago Cantón thanked Almagro’s political will to support the investigation of crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime, and described the difficulties that were overcome over time to exhibit Venezuela’s dictatorial logic.

Canton is president of the Panel of experts convened by the OAS, and their experience in human rights is recognized in all international forums. “The objective of the report was demonstrate that within the Venezuelan criminal justice no progress is being made to find those responsible for crimes against humanity,” Cantón summarized.

After Canton’s clarifications, which were completed by his colleagues Robles and Frivet, the victim testimonies of the illegal repression carried out in Venezuela by order of Maduro.

Olga Gonzalez reminded her husband Leonardo, who was murdered on July 27, 2017. González said that her husband worked in a supermarket. It was a protest and in the face of a situation of imminent danger she escaped in her car along with a young man who was also in the march. They were surprised by 30 police officers who chased them and shot them twenty-one times. An ammunition entered through Leonardo’s back, who died a few meters from his house. “The only thing there was an extrajudicial execution. There was a massacre there. “There was a murder,” said Olga González in front of the Panel of experts.

Jesus Alemán was a student leader and was kidnapped by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). When he was captured They wanted to execute him in cold blood, but the cartridge remained stuck in the magazine. Then – already detained at the SEBIN territorial base – he was tortured: “After each blow, they laughed. They soaked me on the floor, and they gave me electric shocks on my back and in the thorax,” he described before the experts convened by the OAS. In the end, he was able to go into exile. But his life was conditioned by the tragedy he suffered. At night he woke up with a start: “I didn’t know if I was dead or in a nightmare.”revealed.

Nixon Leal, former political prisoner and torture survivor. They kidnapped him, they hooded him, and they threw insecticide and tear gas at him, which caused him to stop breathing. “One day bed bugs stuck in the nails of my fingers. One yellow, one blue, and one red. I wanted to commit suicide. I tried to hang myself with my own sweater. “Worse, I didn’t make it: I was handcuffed,” he described to international experts.

Members of SEBIN, Maduro’s intelligence apparatus that is accused of violating human rights in Venezuela

The report is thorough, It has 46 pages and exposes Maduro’s political responsibility. In a vertical regime, orders are executed from the top down, and criminal collusion and cover-up is the only code in force when avoiding a criminal sanction for having committed crimes against humanity.

This style manual of dictatorships appears described -without euphemisms- in the report of the four independent experts convened by the OAS: “The unequivocal policy of the Venezuelan State to provide impunity for perpetrators of crimes against humanity, has also encouraged them to continue their systematic attacks against civil society actors in Venezuela, since they have no fear of reprisals,” supports the dossier presented today in Washington.

By taking this paradigmatic sample of 183 crimes against humanity, The panel of independent experts provides conclusions that allow us to understand how the Venezuelan regime works.

“The review of a representative sample of the most notorious cases of crimes against humanity of murder, torture, imprisonment and persecution, which occurred in Venezuela since 2014, revealed that The Venezuelan State only concluded 12 trials out of 183 cases, what represents an alarmingly low 6%, pertaining to incidents that occurred since 2017″, the report describes.

The experts made a percentage description between the crimes committed and their judicial resolution. And the conclusions always point to the same place: Maduro controls the state and avoids criminal sanctions against his repressive apparatus.

“The analysis carried out by the Panel (the experts) of 76 murder cases occurred in Caracas and Carabobo since 2014, revealed an atrocious display of judicial negligence and systemic failure, with the harsh reality being that: 84.2% of cases remain under investigation and the overwhelming majority of these (69.7%) “They remain in procedural limbo.”

And then presents a witness case which exhibits the impunity of the Venezuelan government:

“The Panel wishes to highlight the case of Fernando Alberto Albán Salazar, a politician from the opposition political party Primero Justicia, who was arrested on October 5, 2018, and accused of attempted murder against President Maduro. Alban, He allegedly threw himself out of a 10th-floor bathroom window. from a SEBIN headquarters (…) According to Albán’s lawyer, The bathroom from which he allegedly jumped has no windows, and the rest of the SEBIN windows are always closed.”

The OAS accused Nicolás Maduro of using the state apparatus to violate human rights in Venezuela

“Internal responsibility for cases of torture”says a subtitle of the OAS report to describe how the Judiciary works when the political decision to cover up has already been made.

And after the fact it reads: “The Panel must underline, with deep indignationthe cases in which the Venezuelan Prosecutor’s Office has shown a blatant disregard for justice. It should be noted that in cases of Juan Pablo Pernalete Llovera, a 20-year-old young man fatally wounded by a tear gas bomb in Caracas, and the Rubén Darío González, a 16-year-old boy mercilessly shot by the GNB in ​​Carabobo, the lack of execution of arrest warrants against identified state actors, “It showed a conspiracy to seek impunity.”

Throughout the dossier, cases of arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual violence and political persecution, a few months before the presidential elections. “The political continuity of repression in Venezuela since at least 2014, which has received wide international condemnation from various organizations, “It derives from a systematic, widespread and continuous practice of stigmatization of dissent.”established the report of the experts convened by the regional forum.

And adds: “María Corina Machado, main opposition presidential candidate, in July 2023, was harassed in La Guaira and Petare, by armed government paramilitaries, that acted on behalf of the State (collectives).”

By averaging the report, the experts Canton, Cotler, Ventura Robles and Frivet describe the systematic violation of human rights linked to opposition political activity.

Experts assure that “the impunity gap that exists in Venezuela has, in general, facilitated the continued commission of crimes against humanity, and in particular, crimes of persecution and imprisonment, especially against anyone who is perceived as a political dissident, thus intensifying electoral interference and repression on the eve of the Venezuelan elections of 2024″.

Santiago Cantón, president of the Panel of Experts convened by the OAS to draft the report that proves the systematic violation of human rights in Venezuela

On page 37 of the report, with the title of Findings, The four experts put together all the investigative pieces to demonstrate that Maduro manages illegal repression, covers up the security and intelligence forces and resolves from his offices as cases move against his government.

These are the conclusions from the report on Venezuela that was presented at the OAS:

– “The Venezuelan State has not investigated or prosecuted to none of the mid- or high-level perpetrators for crimes against humanity committed since 2014.

There is widespread de facto impunity for all crimes against humanity of imprisonment, persecution and sexual violence that have occurred in Venezuela since 2014.

-No investigative measures have been taken in 83.6% of all torture cases analyzed by the Panel.

-The sentences in cases in which there were convictions did not reflect the real extent of severity, They did not consider the broader context within which the events occurred, they did not take into account the widespread participation of state entities and actors.

There is a marked lack of transparency in the Venezuelan Judiciary, characterized by the lack of access to judicial files or records and the deliberate obstruction of victims’ access to the files.

-Victims are not only deprived of protection mechanisms at the internal level. Venezuela has systematically closed the possibility that l“Victims resort to protection mechanisms at the international level.”

Finally, The Expert Panel recommended that the CPI dedicates itself to investigating to the highest levels of the Maduro regime and that the General Secretariat of the OAS “continue to monitor the commission of crimes against humanity and serious violations of human rights committed in Venezuela.”

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