The presence in Chile of the Tren de Aragua criminal gang of Venezuelan origin has put authorities in the region on alert, especially in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
Mining operations in the southernVenezuelan states of Bolívar and Amazonas, with the support of the Nicolás Maduro regime, represent the greatest threat to the human rights, habitat, cultures, and territories of indigenous populations, globalnews agency IPS Noticias reported.
According to recent reports from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), human rights violations in Venezuela continued throughout 2021, resulting in a high number of victims, despite international scrutiny.
The Nicolás Maduro regime has been exploiting the growth of armed groups in Venezuela, encouraging the strengthening of some illegal groups considered useful for social control and repression.
An alliance between Colombian criminal groups and the Venezuelan military is turning Venezuela into an emerging cocaine producer.
In 2021, the Colombian Navy broke its all-time record for drug seizures with 403 tons of illicit substances confiscated. Colombia accounts for two thirds of the global area under coca bush cultivation and cocaine production, according to the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime’s World Drug Report 2021. The great majority of coca cultivation takes place in the departments of Putumayo, Caquetá, Meta, Guaviare, Nariño, Antioquia, and Vichada, in border areas with Venezuela — where armed groups and drug traffickers operate — which are seeing a recent spike. The Maduro regime “demonstrates a complete unwillingness to make the more than necessary policy changes to enforce existing laws. This creates an extreme level of impunity exacerbated by a lack of transparency and high levels of corruption,” the PanAm Post reported. This works as an incentive to coca producers, who see Venezuela as a safe haven, and the once wealthiest country in Latin America mostly because of oil, is now becoming a central hub for not just selling narcotics in the Western world, but also for cocaine production.
On April 21, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan rejected Venezuela’s request to delay an ICC investigation into alleged human rights violations. Khan also signaled his intention to resume the investigation as soon as possible.
A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report accuses Venezuela’s security forces of carrying out operations with the Colombian guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN), and of causing “a dramatic increase in violence in the first months of 2022” in the border departments of Arauca, in Colombia, and Apure, in Venezuela. The report Colombia/Venezuela: Border Area Abuses by Armed Groups was published on March 28.
The CASLA Institute, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in the Czech Republic that monitors democracy in Latin America, presented on March 11, 2022 to the Organization of American States (OAS) the report Crimes against Humanity in Venezuela 2021, which shows the chain of command within the Nicolás Maduro regime and the intensification of tortures against political prisoners.
Israel’s contention that its regional foe Iran is helping Venezuela build combat drones is raising concerns that the two anti-U.S. allies could enable such drones to be used for terrorism.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, the Venezuelan regime, and the shipping companies that move their petroleum products are using military technology to hide the location of their ships, in order to circumvent U.S. sanctions, Associated Press reported on February 3.
For the past four years, Operation Shelter, under the command of the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, has been welcoming Venezuelan refugees from the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and promoting their relocation. According to United Nations agencies, more than 5 million Venezuelans have left their country, with Brazil being their fifth destination. The Brazilian government reported that by end of 2021, Operation Shelter had regularized the status of more than 287,000 Venezuelan refugees.