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Lima Group Requests Using Human Rights Violations as Evidence in International Criminal Court

Lima Group Requests Using Human Rights Violations as Evidence in International Criminal Court

By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo
December 08, 2020

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In a statement issued on October 13, 2020, the Lima Group urged that complaints about human rights violations in Venezuela included in a United Nations report, serve as evidence for the International Criminal Court in its investigations into the illegitimate Nicolás Maduro regime.

“[The Lima Group governments] condemn the systematic violations of human rights perpetrated by the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro, which include alleged crimes against humanity,” the statement said.

The U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela documented the crimes in a report published on September 16.

Foreign ministers of Lima Group member-countries hold a meeting to discuss the Venezuelan crisis, in Santiago, on April 15, 2019. The Lima Group, consisting mainly of Latin American nations, is seeking a solution to the Venezuelan crisis. (Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP)

“[The governments] also express that the illegitimate regime’s connections with organized crime, terrorism, and transnational corruption networks, narcotrafficking, human trafficking, and smuggling should be thoroughly investigated,” the Lima Group said.

Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela (Lima Group members), in addition to Ecuador and El Salvador (observer countries), signed the statement.

Meeting virtually, the members of the forum, consisting of foreign ministers from the Americas, renewed their support for Interim President Juan Guaidó and the National Assembly as legitimate and democratically elected Venezuelan authorities.

In September 2019, the U.N. Human Rights Council created the Independent International Mission to investigate extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture, and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment committed in Venezuela since 2014.

The Bolivarian National Police’s Special Actions Forces and state intelligence agencies, including the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service and the Military Counterintelligence General Directorate, perpetrated the crimes.

According to the report, “torture techniques included stress positions, suffocation, beatings, electric shocks, cuts and mutilations, death threats, and psychological torture.”

“Intelligence agencies also subjected dissidents — both men and women — to sexual violence, including rape with body parts or objects, and rape threats against the detainees or their loved ones, forced nudity, as well as beatings and electric shocks on genitals,” Francisco Cox, one of the Mission members, said in a statement.