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

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In October 2021, the Venezuelan Ministry of the Interior issued an ordinary looking statement about an antinarcotics operation in the…

BRAZIL / 28 OCT 2021

A Nigerian trafficking network is now using "mules" to move drugs from South America to Europe, exemplifying how this growing…

COLOMBIA / 27 OCT 2020

The killing of ELN commander Uriel -- a well-known figure often seen in propaganda videos and press reports -- is…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…