Investigators at an international UN mission accuse Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his interior and defense ministers of involvement in serious crimes committed by the country’s security forces. António Guterres says the report is “very worrying”.
The team of researchers – who released their first report but did not travel to Venezuela – claims to have detected evidence of crimes against humanity, and indicated having “good reasons to think that the president “and the ministers of interior and defense” ordered or contributed to order crimes committed “, said in a statement the Portuguese jurist Marta Valiñas, who leads the team of researchers.
Some of these crimes, “including arbitrary deaths and the systematic use of torture, fall within the scope of crimes against humanity “, he said.
“These acts are far from isolated, these crimes were coordinated and committed on behalf of State orders in knowledge and with the direct support of senior officials and senior government officials, “continues the 411-page report.
The serious human rights violations reported by the team of investigators were perpetrated in operations carried out by all state security agencies in Venezuela: the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB), including the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) ) and the Special Action Forces (FAES).
The report also includes the Corps of Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigations (SEBIN), the General Directorate for Counter Military Information (DGCIM) and the state and municipal police forces.
The researchers say they have collected evidence that the authorities were aware of the crimes committed since 2014 to the present, and who contributed to the implementation of the policies and plans they adopted.
“The authorities provided essential assistance, including material, logistics and human resources, which was necessary for the security and information operations that resulted in the crimes being carried out,” said the report, which will be presented next week at the Human Rights Council. of the UN.
The investigators asked the Venezuelan authorities to immediately carry out “independent, impartial and transparent inquiries”.
The report considers that other bodies, including the international criminal court “should also consider legal actions against the individuals responsible for these violations and crimes identified by this mission”, underlines Marta Valiñas.
Guterres asks Caracas to take report seriously
The Secretary-General of the United Nations urged Venezuelan authorities to take the International Investigative Mission’s report “very seriously” to document the situation in the country, where the Government is accused of committing crimes against humanity.
Asked about the matter, in a press conference, António Guterres considered that the report is “very worrying”.