VENEZUELA: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL DENOUNCED POLICIES OF REPRESSION, TORTURE AND PERSECUTION

Jueves, 28 de febrero, 2019

Amnesty International's Director for the Americas, Erika Guevara-Rosas, said that in Venezuela the policy of repression has taken on another tone: horror, torture and persecution are elements that are present today, and an example of this is the impunity with which police and military personnel and justice institutions act


Amnesty International's Director for the Americas, Erika Guevara-Rosas, pointed out that in Venezuela the policy of repression has taken on another tone: horror, torture and persecution are elements that are present today.

Marcos Gómez, Director of Amnesty International Venezuela, opened the meeting with national and international media by expressing his concern about the human rights crisis that the country is currently going through.

"We are with all the organizations, human rights defenders dedicated to protect the full range of human rights and we are concerned.”

Gomez also condemned the recent attacks on those providing assistance to people affected by the economic emergency.

"We are with those who educate about, disseminate and defend human rights because attacks on defenders affect the rights of all citizens.”

The purpose of the press conference called by Amnesty International was to present the balance of the last few days in the field of human rights and to publish the results of an investigation carried out by the organization's crisis team during its visit to the country, due to the concern of the international NGO about the increase in the excessive use of force and lethality as a way of silencing the voices that demand respect for their rights and that are becoming more and more widespread in popular sectors.

Gender differentiation in the human rights crisis

Luisa Kislinger, internationalist, women's rights activist and director of the non-governmental organization Mujeres en Línea (Women Online), pointed out that the economic, social and cultural rights crisis impacts women and girls in a differentiated manner and this has increased gender gaps, highlighting the absence of authentically feminist public policies.

"It is these women, girls and adolescents who carry the greatest burden of the emergency on their shoulders and through them and their testimonies we can probe the depth of the crisis. When a woman dies because she does not have the medical supplies or medicines that are needed during pregnancy or childbirth, or because she cannot be transferred on time, we are witnessing a violation of her rights," said Kislinger.

The activist commented that if the State cannot take care of a normal and biological process of the human being such as pregnancy, it is unlikely to be able to cope with other, more complex conditions. In addition, she mentioned that the latest data available from the 2016 epidemiological bulletins show an increase in maternal mortality of 65% in just one year.

"Although we do not have official data, everything seems to indicate that this number is much worse today," she said.

Social conflict was imminent

Venezuela is experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian emergency. The institutional breakdown, the consolidation of authoritarianism, the increase in repression as a government response, the adoption of unilateral economic policies and the discretionality of social plans have caused Venezuelans to suffer the worst violations of their human rights in history, said Marco Ponce, director of the Observatorio Venezuelans de Conflictividad Social (Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict) during his participation as a panelist in the event offered to the media.

"In the 2013-2018 term, the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict registered 48,966 demonstrations. This is a clear proof of the impact of the economic, political and social crisis in which the Venezuelan family has been immersed and the unease of a population that refuses to be paralyzed. On the contrary, the rejection has remained in full effervescence in all social strata.”

In the same way, the defender stated that the protest now extended from middle class areas to the slums and popular sectors of the country, emphasizing that Venezuelans went from demanding social rights to demanding the resignation of Nicolas Maduro and the entry of humanitarian aid.

Venezuelans flee the crisis

Amnesty International's Director for the Americas, Erika Guevara-Rosas, said that in Venezuela the policy of repression has taken on another tone: horror, torture and persecution are elements that are present today, and an example of this is the impunity with which police and military personnel and justice institutions act.

Guevara-Rosas also presented a summary of the mission's investigation into serious human rights violations in various parts of the country.

"The Venezuelan case requires the knowledge and action of international tribunals. Responsibilities should be established against officials of the Fuerzas de Acciones Especiales (FAES, Special Action Forces) who act as groups dedicated to extrajudicial executions in popular areas.”

In addition, Guevara-Rosas noted that as of 25 January this year, 41 people were killed in protests and more than 900 detentions were counted, including minors who were held in ordinary prisons.

As for the health crisis, she stressed that the impact caused by the deterioration of the health system is responsibility of the State and the serious consequences are suffered by the Venezuelan population.

"Denying the humanitarian crisis is a violation of human rights and Venezuela is immersed in a serious human rights, economic and social crisis that affects approximately 85% of the population by not having access to food or basic services.”

Finally, the defender pointed out that most of these human rights violations result from institutional failures that aggravate the situation day after day.


Tags: Venezuela, erika guevara-rosas, human rights crisis, humanitarian emergency, nicolas maduro, social economic and cultural rights.

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