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UN human rights experts condemned the several “large-scale” human rights violations in Venezuela on the 10th of March, and said, that “amount to crimes against humanity,” in lieu of the alleged extra-judicial killings of about 200 people during the Venezuelan elections. 

Marta Valiñas, the chairperson of a fact-finding mission, initiated by the UN Human Rights Council on the 27th of September, 2019, reported that elections contested by Venezuela in 2020 had led to a “political climate of exclusion of dissenting voice.” He cited the government’s investigation of opposition leaders and prosecution of political protestors for the cause of such an inhuman event.

Such fact-finding mission were also quite concerned about the treatment of prisoners and reported allegations of torture in the prsions. They also found to be present “sexual and gender-based violence against detainees,” as were held by intelligence sites.


The UN Human Rights Council established and planned to conduct the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela vide its Resolution 42/25 on September 27, 2019. The purpose of such mission was to investigate instances of violation of human rights, including but not limited to extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and torture, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment since 2014, in order to ensure the accountability and transparency of the system, both for the ones responsible and for upholding justice for the victims. 

The report, based on the investigation of 223 cases and the review of an additional 2,891 cases, describes the independent experts’ findings with a view to identify whether there were patterns of violations and crimes associated with them.

 A detailed description of 48 of these cases is included in the 411-page report. The experts’ conclusions are based on interviews with victims and their family members, lawyers, and witnesses, as well as former and current members of the judiciary and security forces, verified images and videos, and government documents, including laws, policies, and directives. 

Despite repeated requests by the Human Rights Council, Venezuelan authorities did not allow their experts to visit Venezuela to obtain a more detailed review of the situation and current ongoings.


The United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela has concluded that Venezuelan authorities and armed pro-government groups committed egregious violations amounting to crimes against humanity, according to reports of the Human Rights Watch. 

The report of such mission, published on September 16, 2020, stated that there were reasonable grounds for the leading investigators in the mission to hold that “most of the violations and crimes … were part of a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population … in furtherance of a state policy.” 

The experts also investigated to find that “High-level authorities had knowledge of and contributed to the commission of these crimes” and that “Commanders and superiors knew or should have known about them, and … did not take measures to prevent or repress them.” 

“This report is a solid indictment that attributes direct responsibility to high-level authorities, including the head of state, for violations that include extrajudicial executions, politically motivated detention and torture, and abuses against protesters in Venezuela,” said José Miguel Vivanco, the director of America at the Human Rights Watch. “The findings also expose the role of the Venezuelan judiciary in contributing to arbitrary arrests and impunity for these egregious abuses and denying justice to the victims.” 


“In September last year, we highlighted the grave pattern of extrajudicial executions committed by the Venezuelan security forces in the context of security operations. We have identified over 200 killings committed by police forces since the start of the year and will investigate the circumstances around these cases. We will also investigate the involvement of other police forces besides the FAES [Special Actions Force] in these killings,” the chairperson of the mission, Marta Valiñas commented.

He further went on to say that the fact-finding team will continue to investigate human rights in Venezuela, and continue to present further information to the Human Rights Council over the period of next two years.



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