By Gabriela Gonzalez.
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.
Between September 21 and 27, 227 protests took place in Venezuela with Yaracuy and Nueva Esparta being the flashpoints. In 86% of the protestations, citizens demand improvements in public services, according to the record by the Commission on Internal Policy from the National Assembly.
Some 61 demonstrators were detained, as the Nicolas Maduro regime has been practicing the same tactics and behaviors described in the United Nations report last week, which accused them of crimes against humanity, particularly in the context of protestations. Those crimes include extrajudicial executions, torture, and systematic rape.
The president of the Commission on Internal Policy, lawmaker Freddy Paz, and the president of the Sub-commission on Justice and Peace, Delsa Solorzano, offered a virtual press conference in which they stated that the situation is getting worse and worse.
Solorzano informed that in Yaracuy, a state in which its inhabitants have been demonstrating for five days, there are 31 detainees. There have also been raids without warrants on homes and businesses.
In Aragua, there would be three detainees, while Lara and Anzoátegui have militarized, says Solórzano. She also reported that in Nueva Esparta, there are at least 25 demonstrators wounded, while in Sucre, several fishermen, were reported injured.
Maduro is using his scarce resources trying to stay on by force of repression, instead of trying to address some of the concerns of the citizenry, congressman Paz said.
“The repression does not give you electric light, nor does it calm hunger,” says the parliamentarian. The actions of the security forces in the last days lend veracity to the accusations of human-rights crimes by the UN.
According to Solorzano, they are monitoring the situation in the country and preparing a report that they will send to the delegates of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, as well as to other international institutions. They are waiting for the authorization of the victims to raise these new cases of human rights violations.
According to Paz, in Carúpano, Sucre state, the inhabitants have denounced the use of firearms during the protests. In light of this fact, the deputy reminds officials that “responsibility is individual,” and that crimes related to human rights violations are not subject to the statute of limitations.
Regarding the audio attributed to the mayor of the municipality Peña, Yaracuy state, Juan Parada, in which he calls to mark those who protest, Congressman Paz did not rule out political sanctions through the commission he presides.
Paz emphasized that beyond this sanction since there is no rule of law in the country, his statement constitutes “proof of the political behavior that a party has. Furthermore, publicly.”
For her part, Solorzano recalled the importance of the UN Mission report and the repercussions it could have with the case in the International Criminal Court against Nicolas Maduro.
For the congresswoman, statements like the one made by Mayor Parada reflect the repressive character of Maduro’s government.