Forced Disappearances on the Rise in Venezuela

  • Some analysts believe that his government is doing this to instill fear and intimidate those who oppose the current leadership.
  • Many of them are undertaken by the Venezuela Directorate for Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM).
  • The Venezuelan Attorney General has dismissed tie RFK report.

There is a sharp increase in forced disappearances in Venezuela. This is according to a new report released by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization. It highlights that the despotic government, led by President Nicolás Maduro, is detaining more civilians without cause.

Nicolás Maduro is a Venezuelan politician serving as president of Venezuela since 2013. His presidency has been disputed by Juan Guaidó since January 2019.

Some analysts believe that his government is doing this to instill fear and intimidate those who oppose the current leadership. Just over 500 disappearances took place in 2019. This is a significant increase from 200 in the previous year.

Many of those detained are imprisoned or taken to detention centers. The incarcerations are reportedly undertaken by the Venezuela Directorate for Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM). The victims’ families are usually never informed about the detentions, and this causes a lot of anguish.

The detained persons are also prevented from gaining access to a lawyer, and so their cases never reach the courts. Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab has dismissed the RFK report highlighting human rights violations as fallacious.

Speaking to CNN last week, he countered that US authorities are far more dangerous, as evidenced by the recent killings of Black Americans. “I hope they also have a report ready evidencing that the US Police is the most criminal on the planet,” he said.

Ariana Granadillo, an abductee who recently spoke with CNN, recounted that she was wrongfully incarcerated in 2018 by Venezuelan authorities. Her captors reportedly informed her that her detention was retribution against a relative who had denounced Maduro’s regime and left the country. Her relative, Oswaldo García Palomo, was a high-ranking army officer who defected from the government. He was arrested in 2019 after returning from Canada.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has denied that his country has been involved in human rights violations. He has subsequently announced the submission of documents to the International Criminal Court (ICC) denouncing the claims, which he says are unsubstantiated.

If the human rights violations are true, President Maduro could be censured by the International Criminal Court. Such proceedings would create more problems for his government, especially now that it is trying to persuade the international community and the United States government to unfreeze locked assets, which it says will be used to provide humanitarian aid.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (formerly the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, or RFK Center) is an American nonprofit human rights advocacy organization. It was named after United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, a few months after his assassination.

The US is ramping up economic sanctions against the regime for what it says is systemic corruption, which has dogged the nation for years, as well as serious human rights violations. The US administration also accuses Maduro and his cohorts of engaging in drug trafficking. There’s currently a $15 million dollar bounty on his head.

The most recent sanctions to be imposed on the Venezuelan regime have targeted oil shipments to the beleaguered nation. Over a dozen international maritime companies have, in the past month, been slapped with sanctions for making oil deliveries to the country.

The consignments, which originated from Iran, one of Venezuela’s most reliable trade partners, rattled the Trump administration, which is looking to choke off oil supplies. The following is an excerpt from a statement provided by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in regard to this.

“The United States reiterates that the exploitation of Venezuela’s oil assets for the benefit of the illegitimate regime of President Nicolás Maduro is unacceptable, and those that facilitate such activity risk losing access to the US financial system.”

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Samuel Gush

Samuel Gush is a Technology, Entertainment, and Political News writer at Communal News.

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