HomeNewsBriefUN Body Slams Venezuela for Security Force Abuses
BRIEF

UN Body Slams Venezuela for Security Force Abuses

HUMAN RIGHTS / 2 NOV 2016 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

The United Nations has sharply criticized the heavy-handed policing tactics used in Venezuela, among several other issues, an indication of the country's growing isolation from the international community that may only worsen its human rights situation in the short term. 

Abuses by security forces was one of the main themes during the UN Human Rights Council's periodic review of Venezuela on November 1, according to Runun.es. The Canadian representative took aim at the anti-crime initiative known as Operation Liberation of the People (Operaciones de Liberación del Pueblo - OLP), which human rights groups have tied to numerous abuses by state forces since it was launched in June 2015.

The representative called for the Venezuelan government to "put an end to the OLP and other repressive actions taken by state security forces."

The Vatican also requested that Venezuelan authorities "investigate cases of extrajudicial executions and the use of excessive force."

A host of other countries, including Argentina, Spain, Ghana, France, Uruguay and Sweden expressed similar concerns. Meanwhile, some countries focused on insecurity and the abysmal condition of prison facilities in Venezuela. 

Countries ranging from Sweden to North Korea also expressed concern about Venezuela's deepening economic crisis, which has led to widespread shortages in basic goods such as food and medicine.

InSight Crime Analysis 

The UN member nations are right to point out the flagrant human rights abuses by Venezuela security forces, as well as the deplorable conditions in the country's prisons. In June, for instance, Time magazine found that one prison in Caracas holds over 150 inmates even though its maximum capacity is 36, and that many infectious diseases go untreated.  

The criticism is likely to push Venezuela further away from the international community at a time when it is becoming increasingly isolated, both diplomatically and economically. The US government has indicted several Venezuelan police and military officials for drug trafficking in the past year, and several airliners no longer offer service to Venezuela because the value of the local currency has bottomed out.

SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profiles

Rather than capitulating, President Nicolás Maduro has responded with defiance. He has handed more power to the military, and even named one former official indicted by the United States as head of the Interior Ministry.

In this context, respect for human rights and public security is likely to be further degraded as Maduro uses whatever tools are at his disposal to stay in power. Venezuelan officials have already stated that they will employ armed groups loyal to the government -- known as "colectivos" -- to put down mass protests by the opposition, which is attempting to remove Maduro from office via a recall referendum.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 23 OCT 2013

Authorities in Venezuela have destroyed 17 cocaine labs near the border with Colombia, highlighting the continued pattern of the migration…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 OCT 2021

Business partners of Álex Saab have been indicted by US prosecutors on charges of being part of a multi-million dollar…

GUYANA / 13 JUL 2021

Migrants from Venezuela's Warao Indigenous community who have been forced to flee to Guyana find themselves forcibly recruited to work…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…