HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Arrests Police for Extrajudicial Killings
BRIEF

Venezuela Arrests Police for Extrajudicial Killings

HUMAN RIGHTS / 17 AUG 2015 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

The arrest of several police officers accused of extrajudicial killings once again shines the spotlight on this issue in Venezuela.

In the northern state of Aragua, five police were arrested in connection with a gruesome video showing the execution of at least one person, Ombudsman Tarek William Saab announced via Twitter.

Meanwhile, local newspaper El Nacional reported that four police officers were arrested in Zulia state, for allegedly assassinating five people, including three teenagers.

The arrests follow the launch of Venezuela's controversial security plan in July, known as the "Operation Liberation and Protection of the People" or OLP, which relied on large deployments of heavily-armed police and military forces. While President Nicolas Maduro and other officials have presented the OLP as a way to tackle street violence and organized crime, critics have said the security surge may have encouraged human rights violations.

InSight Crime Analysis

Venezuela has long struggled with the issue of extrajudicial police killings. According to human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) Provea, police were responsible for 189 unsanctioned executions in 2014. This has contributed to high rates of distrust in the police: in one recent survey, 55 percent of respondents said they believed police were involved in organized crime. 

SEE ALSO:  Venezuela News and Profiles

Asides from poor training and pay, and lack of sanctions against violent officers, police may also rely on excessive force because of frustration with Venezuela's dysfunctional justice system. Given Venezuela's chronically high impunity rates, police may view using excessive force as their best strategy for dispensing what they perceive to be "justice."

Police also may rely on excessive force because they may feel like vulnerable targets themselves. There have been several reports of police killed by gunmen who want to steal their weapons. Some 338 members of the security forces were killed in 2014, accordion to NGO Fundepro. 

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

HONDURAS / 29 NOV 2012

The Honduran Supreme Court has declared a law aimed at cleaning up the country's notoriously corrupt police force to be…

BRAZIL / 28 NOV 2011

A new study indicates that the number of homicides in Rio de Janeiro favelas that have been "pacified" by elite…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 9 FEB 2015

The rate of reported disappearances in Mexico during President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration has more than doubled since he took office,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.