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Venezuela: the UN warned about situations of torture, sexual abuse and extrajudicial executions

A mission of the United Nations (UN) in Venezuela asserted that they received reports of extrajudicial executions, torture and sexual abuse of detainees in the country by the government of President Nicolás Maduro. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, stated on the morning of Thursday, March 11, that they continue to receive complaints.

The president of the UN Independent International Fact-Determination Mission on Venezuela, Marta Valiñas, assured that the "repression continues (...) against people perceived as 'internal enemies' or opponents of the government." In this context, she confirmed that her team is going to investigate the complaints of torture and ill-treatment, which now adds "the new complaints that we have received about acts of sexual and gender-based violence against detained persons."

In her account, Valiñas assured that they had identified more than 200 murders carried out by the police forces in 2021 and that most were carried out by the FAES, the elite force of the Bolivarian National Police. "We will also investigate the involvement of other police forces," she added.

Regarding other figures, the human rights expert explained that there are 36 new cases of alleged arbitrary detentions, where 28 men and 8 women are counted.

On the other hand, the lawyer also referred to the gag that the government imposes on the local media, and stated that "silencing those who report on the political and social reality impedes the transparency necessary to guarantee accountability."

The mission headed by Valiñas and created in 2019 had confirmed in September 2020 that the country's security forces and authorities had participated since 2014 in human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

Michelle Bachelet's word
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights assured that complaints continue to arrive against Venezuelan government authorities in the context of security operations.

“At the beginning of January, at least 14 people died during an operation in the Caracas neighborhood of La Vega. Recalling the announcements of police reforms, I ask that rapid and independent investigations be carried out to guarantee accountability, prevent similar events and put an end to this practice,” Bachelet asked at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

The former president of Chile also referred to the economic situation that the Venezuelan state is going through, and assured that “according to some organizations, the average salary would be below 1 US dollar per month, while it is estimated that the price of the food basket it has increased by 1,800% in the last year. "Along these lines, the commissioner said that around a third of Venezuelans would be in a situation of food insecurity.

In this context, she explained that since September access to medical assistance, water, gas, food and gasoline have been more affected by the pandemic. "This has generated social protests and has aggravated the humanitarian situation," concluded Bachelet.

Source: Perfil
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