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Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

Human Rights activists denounce twenty-four extrajudicial executions in the Guajira region

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By Eira Gonzalez.

From 2010 to early 2020, in the Guajira municipality of Zulia state, 24 individuals have been executed by the Venezuelan National Armed Forces, according to the local Human Rights Committee.

The most recent case took place on January 5th, 2020, when a Wayuu native Venezuelan woman, Aslenys Thaís Rangel Fernandez, natural of Paraguaipoa in the Guajira (which borders with Colombia) was killed, supposedly by members of the Army.

There is no death penalty in Venezuela, at least officially. It was abolished in 1864, decades after becoming an independent nation from the Spanish Empire and shortly after the end of the Federal War. However, the United Nations has said some 8,000 extrajudicial executions took place in the country since 2017, while Human Rights Watch puts the number of such crimes at 18,000 since 2016.

Besides the killings, the armed forces are accused of injuring 63 persons, torturing twenty, one kidnapping, one forceful disappearance, several arbitrary arrests and hundreds of raids in the region. Committee director Jose David Gonzalez said the relatives of Aslenys Rangel are contacting the authorities to denounce the murder and open an investigation about this death.

You must read: With a gunshot, Army Soldiers kills a Wayuu woman (Spanish version)

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Gonzalez explained what happened on January 5th, 2020. Around 9:00 pm, Aslenys Thais Rangel Fernandez was traveling in a proper vehicle when she was intercepted presumably by an Army commission. They crossed paths in the El Rabito checkpoint and soldiers attack with guns. She was shot and died. She was a Wayuu woman, professional and mother from two children than now are orphans.

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