NGO denounces that human rights violations by state forces in January were part of a "pre-planned attack".
More than 45 deaths by firearms, including 33 by agents of state forces and six by third parties with the acquiescence of the authorities. 11 extrajudicial executions. And more than 900 arbitrary detentions in just five days, between January 21 and 25 of this year.
These are some of the data provided by an Amnesty International (AI) report published today, which sees "crimes against humanity" in the repression undertaken since 2017 by the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. This is what the NGO points out in the dossier "Hunger for Justice: Crimes against Humanity", which takes stock of the escalation of violence unleashed in the Latin American country after the swearing-in of Juan Guaidó as president in charge at the end of January.
"As we have denounced for years, in Venezuela there is a systematic policy of repression against opponents or those who are perceived as such simply for protesting, and for which the government of Nicolas Maduro will be accountable to international justice," says Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director of Amnesty International.
"We urgently call on all states to demonstrate unequivocal support for the victims of these crimes and not to leave these crimes unpunished. The international community cannot turn its back on the victims of this unprecedented crisis, both inside and outside Venezuela," adds Guevara.
The report assesses that the crimes under international law and human rights violations committed in January were carried out throughout most of the country, with a high level of coordination between national and state security forces. According to AI, the events did not take place randomly or in isolation, but "formed part of a previously planned and directed attack by the security forces against persons identified or perceived as opponents, particularly in highly marginalized areas, with the aim of neutralizing or eliminating them.
The authorities at the highest level, including Nicolás Maduro, were aware of these public and notorious events, but did not take the necessary measures to prevent them or to investigate them, the report adds. Therefore, AI considers that "the cover-up of these and subsequent events has been part of the policy of repression.
In this sense, the NGO recommends the creation of a commission of inquiry within the framework of the UN Human Rights Council during its next session, in June and July 2019. It also advises the activation of universal jurisdiction by those countries concerned about the situation in the country, as well as the consideration and study of these facts by the Prosecutor's Office of the International Criminal Court, which has maintained a preliminary examination of Venezuela since the beginning of 2018.
The serious deterioration of living conditions and the systematic violations of economic, social and cultural rights continue to affect the majority of the population in Venezuela and have forced more than 3.7 million people to leave the country. At least three million are in other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, many of them in need of international protection.