CARACAS, Tuesday November 20, 2012 | Update

Only three percent of human rights violations are prosecuted

In a video chat with daily newspaper El Universal and using data pertaining to 2006-2010, the legal coordinator of NGO Cofavic explained Venezuela's human rights situation. She underscored that impunity leads to more violence and murder. Both impunity and extrajudicial executions are the most common expressions of human rights violations

De la Rosa warned that impunity leads to raging violence (Photo: Vicente Correale)
Tuesday November 20, 2012  05:44 PM

In a video chat with daily newspaper El Universal and using data pertaining to 2006-2010, the legal coordinator of NGO Cofavic, Dorialbys De la Rosa, explained the situation of human rights protection and promotion in Venezuela. De la Rosa noted that in such period some 30,000 cases of fundamental rights violations have been presented to the Attorney General's Office, that is, 7,000-8,000 cases per year.

The spokesperson stressed that unlike common crime, violations of human rights take place when the State is liable for such actions. She remarked that some three percent of the filed cases are prosecuted, while as much as 97% "ends in nothing." 

"Impunity hit one of the highest levels because only 2.9% of the cases ended in formal accusations," she said.

Cofavic spokesperson asserted that impunity "is a serious issue that the State must resolve." She explained that confidence in public institutions is undermined when witnesses or victims see that criminals are not punished. "Thus, crimes are not reported."


Based on the figures recorded in 2011 by the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, De la Rosa informed that 53 murders per day were perpetrated in 2011 (a total of 19,336). She added Venezuela's situation is very similar to that of Honduras and Colombia.

She explained that public institutions such as the Ministry of the Interior and Justice and the Attorney General Office have lukewarmly admitted this fact. The World Health Organization has described the situation as a "violence outbreak," given the circumstances: 67 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

Shocking situation

Murders attributed to governmental security officials who took advantage of their position, tortured, conducted arbitrary detentions, and so forth, are referred to as extrajudicial executions. Cofavic remarked that by June this year, 187 executions took place in Venezuela. Therefore, regional and national police officers have been held accountable for violations of fundamental rights.

"For years, we have warned about the shocking context of extrajudicial executions," De la Rosa commented.

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Gagging Twitter users

Pablo Jiménez Guaricuco was summarily dismissed from his Clerk III job at the Autonomous Service of Public Registries and Notaries' Offices (Saren). He read a notice published in a newspaper on November 5 informing the public that he was no longer employed to the Saren. He was sacked despite the fact that he was taking a leave of absence from work due to a work-related accident, and that he enjoyed security of employment under the parental job-immunity privilege. Most probably, the decision was influenced by his role as a union organizer. But what did he do, besides leading protests, to deserve the sack? Well, he allegedly sent off a series of tweets that definitely hurt the sensitivity of the Saren Directorate.

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