According to recent reports by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), human rights violations in Venezuela have continued throughout 2021, resulting in a high number of victims, despite international scrutiny.
“Police and soldiers caused the death, throughout the national territory, of 1,414 people between January and December 2021,” Venezuelan human rights NGO PROVEA said in the 33rd edition of its annual report on the human rights situation in Venezuela. “The high number of people killed by security forces is a consequence of structural impunity, which encourages new events,” the NGO said.
“Report on human rights violations in Venezuela indicates growing systematic repression […] As is [the regime] loses its legitimacy,” Luis Fleischman, a sociology professor at Palm Beach State University and an expert in international relations, told Diálogo.
Centro Gumilla, a Jesuit center for research and social action in Venezuela, also denounced, with PROVEA, the thousands of murders that occurred in 2021 at the hands of the Venezuelan regime. “We call for the opening of an investigation into the alleged extrajudicial executions,” Father Alfredo Infante, director of Centro Gumilla, said at a May 19 press conference. “We insisted that an investigation be carried out so that the families of the victims know the truth, that there is justice and reparation, and that the cycle of impunity is stopped,” he added.
According to Father Infante, following the publication of their reports, the Venezuelan state of Carabobo accused Centro Gumilla and PROVEA of defamation. “We are on the side of the victims and their families,” Father Infante told online platform Aleteia. “We mean nothing more than to defend the right to life and restore the rule of law in our country, so that there is truth, justice, reparation, in the event of non-repetition”, he said. -he declares.
In 2021, there were also 241 victims of torture, PROVEA said – an increase of 148.4% on the number of reported victims in 2020 – and the second highest record in 33 years. “In 60.9% of torture complaints collected in this report, victims said they had suffered some form of sexual abuse, which in several cases included rape.said PROVEA. According to the document, there has been an increase in humiliation and physical and psychological abuse of victims, through sexual assault.
According to Fleischman, the high number of deaths and victims of torture by the Venezuelan regime “indicates that Venezuela is infallibly becoming a second Cuba”, where the regime takes refuge in violence. “This is how the Castro regime ruled for more than 60 years and to this day it is still so,” he added.
In a historic decision, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, announced on November 4, 2021 his decision to investigate whether crimes against humanity had been committed in Venezuela. “This is the first decision of this nature to be issued on the continent and it was a giant step on the victims’ path to justice,” PROVEA said. According to the NGO, the “massive and systematic violations of the right to life” prove that the actions of the regime’s agents continue to contravene national and international standards on the differentiated and progressive use of force.
Right to justice
Venezuela ranked last among 139 countries according to the 2021 Rule of Law Index by the World Justice Project, an international nonprofit organization that works to advance the rule of law around the world. The latest edition of the index drew on surveys of over 138,000 households and 4,200 experts to measure how the general public experiences and perceives the rule of law.
Performance is assessed using 44 indicators in eight categories, including fundamental rights, order and safety, regulatory compliance, civil justice and criminal justice. In the index, Venezuela lags behind countries like Afghanistan (which ranks 134th) and Cambodia (138th).