Venezuela: UN Experts Mandate Should be Renewed
We thank the UN Fact-Finding Mission for its reports highlighting ongoing serious human rights abuses in Venezuela.
One describes how crimes against humanity committed by intelligence services – with orders of high-level authorities including Nicolás Maduro - were part of a plan to repress government opponents.
The other refers to abuses by security forces and armed criminal groups against people in mining areas. For years, organizations and families of the victims have reported that security forces were involved in the government’s crackdown on dissent.
The Mission, in 2020, found sufficient grounds to believe that crimes against humanity had been committed. In 2021, it found the judiciary had been complicit.
The Mission’s reporting has been fundamental to push for accountability, including through the International Criminal Court’s investigation of individual criminal responsibility for alleged crimes against humanity.
The Mission also complements the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Venezuela has repeatedly failed to protect Indigenous people from violence, forced labor, and sexual exploitation by illegal miners. Illegal mining has displaced Indigenous communities, whose leaders have been threatened or attacked by State and non-State actors. It is essential to renew the Mission's mandate for two years for it to continue documenting abuses, to ensure accountability and play an early warning role in the 2024 presidential elections. Government repression has peaked during past election periods.
The Mission may help to deter such abuses. Human Rights Council members should stand with victims and let the Mission continue.
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