Caracas: Venezuelan security forces and allied groups have committed systematic human rights violations including killings and torture amounting to crimes against humanity, U.N. states.
Reasonable grounds existed to believe that President Nicolas Maduro and his interior and defense ministers contributed to the crimes documented in the report in order to silence opposition. The U.N. fact-finding mission said other national jurisdictions and the International Criminal Court, which opened a preliminary examination into Venezuela in 2018, should consider prosecutions. It would share its database containing the names of officers identified by victims.
“Far from being isolated acts, these crimes were coordinated and committed pursuant to State policies, with the knowledge or direct support of commanding officers and senior government officials”. The panel found that officers in the military, police and intelligence had committed extrajudicial killings. The panel, set up by the Human Rights Council to investigate violations since 2014, was not granted access to Venezuela. More than 5 million people – one sixth of the population – have fled the country’s political, economic and humanitarian crisis.