On Tuesday, the UN Fact-Finding Mission presented its third report of the ongoing investigation on human rights violations in Venezuela, where they provided details on responsibilities for crimes against humanity and highlighted what is happening in the Mining Arc. The mission said that SEBIN and DGCIM committed crimes against humanity under the orders of high-ranking members of the Maduro regime, working as coordinated and efficient units to execute plans orchestrated by the highest level of government officials. The Mission documented 122 cases of victims of torture, sexual violence, and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment by SEBIN and DGCIM officers, which remain impune. The president of the mission, Marta Valiñas, said the following:
“Our investigations and analysis show that the Venezuelan State relies on the intelligence services and its agents to repress dissent in the country. In doing so, grave crimes and human rights violations are being committed, including acts of torture and sexual violence. These practices must stop immediately, and the individuals responsible must be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law.”
They expressed their concern for the forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, forced labor and sexual exploitation, including sexual slavery and human trafficking on the border and remote areas, a byproduct of mining.
More details on the report:
- The mission described horrors like rape in formal and clandestine detention centers, said Francisco Cox, one of its members.
- They revealed that Cuban agents participated and instructed counterintelligence activities.
- The investigation points at 11 officials as the main individuals responsible for the crimes, emphasizing the responsibility of the chain of command. Among them: Nicolás Maduro, Diosdado Cabello, Gustavo González López and Iván Hernández Dala.
- The report on human rights violations in the Mining Arc “that can constitute crimes against humanity” isn’t any less horrifying: “Between 2006 and 2008, there’s information of ELN penetration in mining areas,” ratified the mission. Human rights activist Javier Tarazona was imprisoned for denouncing this.
- The mission also mentioned the persecution, intimidation, and arbitrary detention patterns against those who work in media outlets, NGOs, activists, and lawyers.
- Provea denounced that SEBIN agents showed up at their offices yesterday to harass the families of workers who were arrested and were going to hold a press conference on their cases.
- The speaker of Nicolás’s National Assembly (AN), Jorge Rodríguez, announced the first binational event on the border on September 25th.
- Colombian president Gustavo Petro will meet Maduro on September 26th, at the ceremony reopening the border.
- Colombian and Venezuelan authorities signed the document to appoint the new Monómeros board, which will now be under the control of the regime.
- President Joe Biden said that deporting migrants to Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua “wasn’t rational” and assured that he’s working with Mexico and other countries to stop the flow of migrants into the U.S.
- Spain changed its rules for passengers coming from Venezuela. They’ll need to show one of these documents: vaccination card, negative test or a certificate signed by a doctor saying that the passenger already had COVID-19.
- President Jair Bolsonaro said before the UN General Assembly that Brazil has received and welcomed Venezuelan migrants: “Over 350,000 Venezuelan citizens have found emergency aid, protection, documents and the possibility to start over,” he said. He warned that in the last couple of months, around 600 migrants have walked to the border with Brazil per day.
- Paraguayan president Mario Abdo Benítez confirmed that his country will lead the petition to renew the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission.
- Chilean president Gabriel Boric warned that the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has had “an unprecedented migratory flow” in the region and also asked for the release of political prisoners in Nicaragua.
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