Amnesty International (AI), with information collected by the media and local human rights organizations, denounced this Thursday another fourteen extrajudicial executions in Venezuela, which would have occurred between January 6 and 9 in the Caracas parish of La Vega. These alleged murders respond to the same pattern that international organizations and ordinary Venezuelans have been denouncing for years. AI requests that the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court include the facts in the preliminary examination underway on crimes against humanity in Venezuela. According to the official channels of the security forces, a police device would have gone to the aforementioned parish for the alleged harassment of criminal groups, says the Amnesty International report published this Thursday. In this sense, Miguel Domínguez, commander of the Special Action Forces (FAES), published on January 8 on his social networks, “15 alleged criminals killed, 2 innocent victims and 15 people arrested after shooting in La Vega.
The media reported that an alleged armed gang led by ‘El Coqui’ had tried to take control of the La Vega parish without the alleged clashes being reported by police officials, nor was their intervention known until the morning of 8 January when. through social media. reported on the performance of the FAES of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB), according to AI. For the operation, 650 police officers, from various units, from the FAES, and the PNB’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DIP) were deployed, according to information published by the PNB. Shots and a truck with corpses Amnesty International has verified nine videos filmed between 8 and 9 January showing police activity in the area, in several of which gunshots are heard.
In one of them, on January 8, you can see the scene on Calle Los Bloques, near the center of La Vega, where shots are heard, AI highlights. Likewise, in a photograph taken from the same viewpoint, it is observed that the vehicles in the video are police trucks and that there is a strong police presence. In another video, a shot is heard and a police officer crouches down. Later, the same officer appears pointing his weapon. Other videos show the same street where the shots are fired, one of them showing armed police officers patrolling the area. Besides, in another video filmed from above the street, a police pickup truck is seen moving along Calle Zulia, outside the parish of La Vega, with what appear to be bodies in the back.
“The location and number of gunshot wounds in the bodies of the victims in La Vega make the official version that these deaths occurred in a confrontation with crossfire even less credible,” the Amnesty director for the Americas said in a statement. International, Erika Guevara Rosas-. On the contrary, they corroborate Amnesty International’s findings on a systematic policy of extrajudicial executions and other crimes under international law in Venezuela. Without signs of an impartial and independent investigation into the facts, the examination of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court becomes more necessary than ever. Investigation at the International Criminal Court Amnesty International stresses that “there is still no official public information on the investigation of these events by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic or by the Ombudsman’s Office.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened in February 2018 a “preliminary examination” on Venezuela for the use of “excessive force” by the Police to “disperse and suppress demonstrations”, as well as the “serious abuses” of detainees, and would analyze the facts at least since April 2017. Since then, new complaints have been added. Among them, the accusations of extrajudicial executions in the El Junquito massacre, in 2018, in which the former police officer Oscar Perez and six other rebels against the Nicolas Maduro regime died. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, denounced in September 2020 that, in that year alone, there had been more than 2,000 extrajudicial executions.