ICC Chief Prosecutor: 'The Contextual Elements of Crimes Against Humanity are Not Being Investigated'

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On Tuesday, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan requested authorization to restart the investigation of crimes against humanity in Venezuela. Khan said that the legal proceedings and reforms that the Maduro regime has carried out “are not sufficient in their reach or haven’t yet had tangible consequences” and that “after an objective and independent evaluation of a considerable amount of information proportioned so far by Venezuela and other reliable sources, I’ve reached the conclusion that the recusal Venezuela is requesting isn’t justified in the current phase and that the investigation should be authorized,” said Khan. He added that this procedure must be done considering current facts, not possibilities that might occur in the future. 

In April 2022, Venezuela requested that the investigation be postponed, under the allegation that they were already investigating the events Khan was referring to, but the ICC Chief Prosecutor revealed yesterday that out of 893 cases of possible crimes against humanity that were denounced, the regime has only continued investigating 28:

“…the Prosecution has assessed all 893 cases reported and, based on the information provided, concluded that, at present, the Venezuelan proceedings do not sufficiently mirror the scope of Prosecution’s intended investigation. Even if the Prosecution has identified 28 cases where progressive investigative steps have been taken with respect to the named individuals for the crimes for which they were sought, a deferral of the situation is not warranted at this stage of the proceedings. As described below, despite the GoV’s reported efforts towards accountability, the information available shows that the patterns and policies underlining the contextual elements of crimes against humanity are not being investigated, the domestic proceedings focus on direct perpetrators (and seemingly low-level members of the State security forces) and mostly on crimes qualified as being of “minor” gravity, while a substantial part of the relevant criminality is not being investigated at all. Notably, only 7.61% of cases relate to crimes identified by the Prosecution during the PE. Further, considering the very limited investigative steps taken the domestic investigations do not qualify as progressive investigations within the meaning of article 17(1)(a). Significantly, 67.86% of the cases (606 cases) are at a preliminary investigation stage despite the alleged criminality having occurred mainly in 2017, 10.53% of the cases (94 cases) have been definitively terminated without evidence of a prior investigation, and in 85.55% of the cases (764 cases), the factual scope of the domestic investigation is unclear or no suspect has been identified.”

Other news:

  • The Colombia peso broke a new historical record, 5,005 pesos per dollar while President Gustavo Petro met Nicolás in Caracas. After a two-hour meeting in Miraflores, they said they’d keep working together in areas like the economy, commerce, migration and security. 
  • Maduro said they talked about Monómeros and Pequiven. Petro said that Latin America was a “beacon of democracy” and mentioned the suffering of Venezuelan migrants but didn’t say why they’re migrating in the first place. 
  • Provea published a report on the destruction of wages and workers’ rights. They explain how it’s been the direct result of the regime’s policies that put people at risk. 
  • Manuel Figuera, president of the Venezuelan Infectology Society, warned that Venezuela has the highest rate of tuberculosis, especially among the Indigenous and incarcerated populations. 

Transportation minister Ramón Velásquez reported that another flight with 295 repatriated migrants would be arriving from Mexico. He didn’t mention how those people are mistreated in Maiquetia. 

  • The vice president of the National Electoral Council Enrique Márquez assured that the presidential election will be held in late 2024. 
  • The Venezuelan Observatory of Finance assured that a four-person family needed 218,65 bolivars or 24.62 dollars to cover the basic food basket in a week, suffering a 1.92% and a 0.66% variation in bolivars and dollars, respectively. 
  • Nicolás’s National Assembly approved an agreement supporting Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva winning the Brazilian presidential election. 
  • Jorge Rodríguez said that social media platforms have been used to install far-right governments in Latin America. 
  • ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab reported that 18 people have been charged for allegedly issuing death threats on social media against state officers. They’ve been charged with extortion and terrorism, among others. 
  • Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro thanked 59 million voters, asked to keep protests peaceful, and emphasized he always acted within the Constitution. 
  • The Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office suspended the agreement for judicial cooperation with Peru in the Odebrecht case after a request by the company, reported EFE. The suspension implies the hearings of former Odebrecht employees have been postponed. The former employees were scheduled to appear as witnesses in November, in the trial against former President Ollanta Humala, the first ex-president that’s going to trial for the Lava Jato scandal. 
  • The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is going to debate on changes that will undermine Mexican democracy: dismantling the National Electoral Institute to create a smaller and weaker one under his control, and eliminating 200 out of 500 seats in the lower chamber of Congress. 

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.