ICC: Crimes Against Humanity Have Been Committed in Venezuela |

ICC: Crimes Against Humanity Have Been Committed in Venezuela |
Photo: Daily Sabah

Briefing

The Armed Forces, the ruling party, the civilian informants and other entities acting parallel to the State, have violated fundamental human rights, says the ICC preliminary report

Naky Soto

  • The ICC Prosecutor’s office of the ICC assured on Monday that at least since April 2017, “civilian authorities, members of the Armed Forces and pro-government officials have committed crimes against humanity in incarcerating or prohibiting physical liberty and violating fundamental rules of international law.” It means they’re moved by the Venezuelan victims who haven’t been heard in courts in our country. In their “Preliminary Activities Report 2020” on File I, on Venezuela, they say there’s reasonable motives to believe that crimes concerning this Court have been committed since at least 2017. The ICC reported that due to the number of claims in this case, they focused on the subcategory of detentions, because they have plenty of trustworthy and reliable information. In the document, they signal SEBIN, DGCIM, FAES, PNB, CICPC, the National Guard, CONAS and other units of the Armed Forces as responsible for crimes against humanity and mention that there are civilians from the regime that backed repression against the opposition, so in a potential trial, the colectivos, the regime civilian informers (patriotas cooperantes) and other para-police entities wouldn’t be left out. The ICC Prosecutor opens another phase, focusing on proving if the State can and will investigate the people responsible for the crimes. It’s an act of pressure and an important progress in the possibility that the ICC would formally open an investigation.
  • The number of victims of the Güiria shipwreck is now 22 people, said journalist Yohana Marra on Monday. Eight more bodies were rescued last night. Nicolás’s regime only admitted to finding 14 bodies so far. ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab reported Luis Alí Martínez, the owner of the boat, has been detained. Saab said he’s investigating human trafficking and if regional authorities are linked to the case. Deputy Robert Alcalá warned that this is the most recent case, but not the first one and won’t be the last because of the corruption network that supports illegal trips of migrants from the coasts of Sucre, Falcón and Delta Amacuro, and has made 102 Venezuelans perish at sea, so far. Maryuris Martínez, the daughter of the person detained, told news outlet Crónica Uno that her father is innocent: “Everyone who leaves is accused, they left by their own will, it was only families on the boat,” she said.
  • Deputies Robert Alcalá and Carlos Valero rejected that the responsibility of the shipwreck is put on the boat owner. Some of the victims are direct family members of Mr. Martínez. Deputies said that not everyone making trips between Güiria and  Trinidad and Tobago belong to organized crime: “It’s true that there are mafias because it’s a lawless land, and only powerful people get access to gas,” said Valero. Alcalá said that the ministry is announcing investigations without mentioning complicity by civilian and military officers that collect fees for allowing the boats to set sail. “What they have to stop is charging in dollars, it’s contaminated with mafias with or without uniforms,” he said. The AN said that there will be an agreement to request human rights UN agencies to increase pressure so the Trinidadian government respects treaties protecting refugees.
  • Caretaker President and AN Speaker Juan Guaidó decreed a day of national mourning for the death of Venezuelan citizens in the shipwreck near Güiria.
  • Since they’re pretty cynical, the Trinidadian government expressed condolences for the deaths. Security Minister Stuart Young said it’s a tough blow and expressed his condolences before denying that the Trinidadian Coast Guard was involved in returning the boat that shipwrecked.
  • NGO Control Ciudadano released a memo saying “the State is responsible for human security in maritime areas.” They explain that opacity about the shipwreck only serves to criminalize the work of journalists and human rights defenders.
  • On Monday night, journalist Beatriz Adrián denounced that journalists and human rights activists have received “warnings for publishing information about the Güiria shipwreck.” People have posted photos of the vigil in Güiria for the victims, despite fear and threats.
  • The organizing committee of the Popular Consultation congratulated the Venezuelan people for participating and reiterated that thousands of volunteers, technical team and the committee are working in processing the information. They gave some figures on digital participation: 2,412,354 people, where only 72% (1,739,830 people) finished the process and obtained a personal code. 90.4% participation was through Telegram, 5.3% on the app and 4.1% via web. About the the answers online, the three questions on Telegram and on Voatz had over 99% “yes” votes. The organizing committee invited everyone to start a “new phase of participation to achieve the restitution of our Constitution, the rejection of the parliamentary fraud, the end of usurpation, free presidential elections and international aid.”
  • Spanish Chancellor Arancha González Laya thinks that the EU will continue to recognize Juan Guaidó as the leader of the opposition. She said that “the name of a person and the unity of the opposition matter more than their political or judicial title.” She said that that’s what will “help to achieve a negotiated solution.” She said it’s mandatory that the government and the opposition reach an agreement concerning humanitarian aid.
  • The Electoral College voted yesterday for Joe Biden, who will become the 46º American president on January 20th. Biden won with over 63% of votes and surpassed the 270 votes threshold.
  • On Monday, Foreign ministers from the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean met online. Venezuela wasn’t represented.
  • A tanker from the National Iraq Oil Company (NIOC) is loaded with Venezuelan oil to be exported, according to PDVSA documents, more evidence of sanctions violation, said Reuters. Several PDVSA clients are using names of old tankers to hide the routes and identities of the tankers that they’re using.

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