The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday denounced to the United Nations the “erosion of the rule of law” in Venezuela, denouncing also once again the international sanctions that aggravate the crisis.
Michelle Bachelet, who visited Venezuela from 19 to 21 June, was speaking to the UN Human Rights Council, following the publication of the country’s report, which denounced a ruffled document.
The report says that since 2018, nearly 7,000 people have been killed in cases of “resistance to authority”, according to the government, during security operations.
“It has eroded The main institutions and the rule of law in Venezuela,” Bachelet told the Human Rights Council.
“Our report mentions attacks against real or perceived opponents and human rights defenders, ranging from threats and defamation campaigns to arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, sexual violence, killings, and enforced disappearances,” added the UN official.
In her report, Ms. Bachelet calls on Caracas to “dissolve the FAES”, an elite body of the National Police created in 2017, and to “establish an impartial and independent national mechanism, with the support of the international community, to investigate extrajudicial executions carried out during security operations “.
The report details that in 2018, 5,287 people were killed in cases of “resistance to authority”, according to the government, during these security operations. Between 1 January and 19 May this year, another 1,569 people were killed, according to Caracas.
The report also notes that on May 31, 793 people were arbitrarily deprived of their liberty and that, so far this year, 22 deputies of the National Assembly have been deprived of their parliamentary immunity, including its president Juan Guaido who tries to dislodge Nicolas Maduro from power since January.
Speaking to the Human Rights Council, Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister William Castillo acknowledged that his country’s justice system was “weak” and that the police had shown ” ad hoc differences “.
But Caracas “categorically rejects (the accusation of) criminalization of the security forces and armed forces,” he added.
He also defended the government’s response to the “serious risks” to national security facing Venezuela, pointing to “coup plans” and threats of “foreign intervention” launched by the US president. Donald Trump.
– Sanctions –
Venezuela has been going through a deep political crisis for months, with the struggle between President Nicolas Maduro and opponent Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself interim president and has been recognized as such by some 50 countries, including the United States. United.
The country is also in the throes of a serious economic crisis, aggravated by an oil embargo and financial sanctions imposed by Washington to try to drive Mr. Maduro out of power, and suffers shortages of food and medicine.
According to the United Nations, more than 7 million Venezuelans, a quarter of the population, need emergency humanitarian aid.
Ms. Bachelet has repeatedly criticized the sanctions against Venezuela, targeting, in particular, the United States. On Friday, she noted that “the latest economic sanctions are further aggravating” the situation in this Latin America country “since most of the country’s foreign exchange earnings come from oil exports, it relates many of which to the US market.”
“In addition, the effects of these sanctions seem to affect the ability of the state to provide basic health services to the population,” she insisted.