Human Rights Watch Reports Extrajudicial Killings in Underprivileged Areas of Venezuela
By AFP November 06, 2019
The nongovernmental organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported extrajudicial killings and arbitrary detentions committed by the Venezuelan Police’s Special Action Forces (FAES, in Spanish) in underprivileged areas that have withdrawn their support for the Nicolás Maduro government.
“Amidst an economic and humanitarian crisis that most seriously affects those who have less, Venezuelan authorities are committing heinous abuses in underprivileged communities that have withdrawn their support for the Nicolás Maduro regime,” said José Miguel Vivanco, executive director of HRW, Americas Division.
The NGO says that this law enforcement body has committed “serious human rights violations with impunity” and that “in a country where the judiciary is used to prosecute critics instead of investigating crimes, the Venezuelan security forces are taking the law into their own hands.”
The organization based its report on interviews conducted in June and July with witnesses or relatives of nine victims of alleged abuse by agents in Caracas and in a state in the country’s interior, as well as reports by lawyers, activists, and journalists.
According to HRW, these reports are “consistent with the pattern identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Michelle Bachelet, who in early September reported alleged extrajudicial killings committed by the FAES.
In another report submitted in July, Bachelet said that in the last 18 months about 7,000 extrajudicial killings were carried out in Venezuela, and that security forces were responsible for most of these deaths.