Monday 20 March 2023

UN accuses Maduro and intelligence chiefs of crimes against humanity

Heads of civil and military intelligence services in Venezuela have committed crimes against humanity to repress the opposition, led by President Nicolás Maduro and his collaborators, the UN denounced.

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Q REPORTS (DW) “President Nicolás Maduro and other high-level authorities (…) were the architects in the design, implementation and maintenance of a machinery to repress dissent,” said an international investigative mission created on Tuesday, by the United Nations for Venezuela.

UN accuses Maduro and intelligence chiefs of crimes against humanity.

“Including acts of torture and sexual violence”

“The Venezuelan State uses the intelligence services and their agents to repress dissent in the country. This leads to the commission of serious crimes and human rights violations, including acts of torture and sexual violence,” states an extensive report that the mission presented to the press.

This report delves into the findings that this same mission exposed in 2020 and now focuses on the activities of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim) and the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin).

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In the case of Sebin, the report points to the current director general, Gustavo Enrique González, as responsible, the director of Helicoide (main detention center) between 2014 and 2018, Carlos Alberto Calderón; and his number two in that period, Ronny González.

In the Dgcim, the general director Iván Rafael Hernández is mentioned, and former heads of different levels of the organization: Rafael Antonio Franco, Hannover Esteban Guerrero and Alexander Enrique Granko.

Deliberate orders from Nicolás Maduro and Diosdado Cabello

In any case, it is specified that the actions of all of them were the product of direct orders from Maduro and, in the case of Sebin, also from Diosdado Cabello, his first vice president.

“The documented acts of violence were not carried out by isolated and unconnected individuals acting alone within the Sebin and the Dgcim. These violations, which constitute crimes against humanity, were part of a deliberate government policy to silence and suffocate the opposition,” emphasizes the report.

The mission has documented the cases of 122 victims subjected to torture, sexual violence and other inhuman treatment in the Dgcim centers, especially in its main headquarters in Caracas (known as Boleíta) and 51 by Sebin agents, mainly in the Helicoide, against opponents, journalists, protesters and activists.

Although the reported cases belong especially to the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, the violations and crimes of the Sebin and the Dgcim continue to this day, maintaining the same structures, patterns and practices, says the mission, led by the jurist Marta Valiñas.

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