Sunday 2 October 2022

What is behind the International Criminal Court? A carousel of lies and on-paper victories

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The International Criminal Court (ICC), the one everyone talks about and deposits their hopes onto in regard to war crimes and crimes against humanity, is now little more than a bureaucratic institution that has been systematically corrupted.

Following Nicolas Maduro’s most recent massacre against captain Oscar Perez and his team, many people discussed the ICC as a way of prosecuting and convicting the Venezuelan dictatorship. However, for the democrats of the world, the truth is harder to accept. The ICC has proven to be “useless.”

In order for a case to be investigated and tried, it has to go through the court prosecutor, followed by a Pre-Trial Chamber—a bureaucratic process that could take up to several years.

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The ICC, whose duty is to investigate and prosecute large-scale atrocities, such as genocides or crimes against humanity, also depends on the consent and approval of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, which is made up of delegations from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Any of the previously mentioned states have the power to veto actions the prosecution or court wishes to take. This veto power inevitably leads to friends of the accused putting a stop to justice being served, as they would with the Venezuelan dictatorship.

Though it is true that every legal, diplomatic, and international recourse need be exhausted to achieve justice, it is also necessary to acknowledge the fact that since its creation in 2002, the ICC has only executed four judgments in fifteen years.

To further expand on how inefficient the ICC can be in its “achievements,” it is important to remember that in March of 2005, the UN went to the ICC to investigate and prosecute a genocide in Sudan. The court concluded its trial in 2009 and ordered the arrest of President Omar Al Bashir, who, incredible as it may sound, has not yet been apprehended.

Corruption and Questionable Members

The inefficiency of the ICC is not the only tumor within the ‘prestigious’ court. In addition to its lack of results, one must also look at the internal institutional corruption, its questionable members, and extensive government influences.

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In 2017, it was revealed that the ICC shied away from investigating Mexico for presumable crimes against humanity by agents of the state of Baja California between the years 2006 and 2012, during the mandate of president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

A report in the digital portal “Proceso” revealed that the denial from the ICC occurred after the government of the current president Peña Nieto decided to exert strong pressure on the court to protect his predecessor.

Peña Nieto had managed to “avoid the court from even analyzing the different appeals against Mexico.”

In Colombia, the court was asked to investigate crimes against humanity by the FARC guerrilla group in 2005, and still, over a decade later, there is no end in sight for the case.

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Are we to believe, then, that the case of Venezuela and the constant crimes committed by the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro will be trialed before the ICC?

Venezuelan lawyer Carlos Ramirez López, who has a degree in International Criminal Litigation, asserted in an interview with PanAm Post that the ICC “is useless,” due to the series of corrupt officials that sully the true purpose of the institution.

The current president of the ICC, Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, former prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, and the current prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, seem to be ensnared in the tentacles of corruption.

A report published by ICN Diario revealed that Fernández got his position in the ICC thanks to former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner, who is currently being imputed for crimes in Argentina, and a great “friend” of Hugo Chavez’s and Nicolás Maduro’s Socialism.

Additionally, we have Bensouda’s dubious credibility, who was the right hand of Ocampo during his time as a prosecutor and had to have been aware of everything he was doing. This includes, but is not limited to, the money he was receiving and hiding in secret tax haven accounts.

During his tenure, the Argentine lawyer could not be involved in “any activity that could interfere with his role as prosecutor or affect the confidence in his independence;” however, documents revealed by the Spanish newspaper “El Diario” maintain that Ocampo acted against the Court’s best interests during his defense of Libyan oil magnate Hassan Tatanaki.

The lawyer used his personal network within the institution for the benefit of his client and put the confidentiality of the tribunal’s investigation at risk.

Venezuela: A lost cause?

On January 20th, the president of the illegitimate and Chavista Supreme Court of Venezuela, Maikel Moreno, published photos on social media with the president of the ICC and Haifa El Aissami, the sister of the Venezuelan vice-president, who has been accused of narco-trafficking in the United States.

Haifa El Aissami is the ambassador for Maduro to the ICC and the one who makes “special contributions” to the international institution’s budget.

Once again, officials of the ICC are seen surrounded by Venezuelan government officials with a ‘dirty’ reputation.

Ramirez López told PanAm Post that taking the Venezuelan cases to the ICC is merely a pipe-dream. He explained that the former prosecutor closed 22 cases regarding Venezuela and that there have been 6 new ones since July of 2017 that have remained in a drawer.

“What is the point of that bureaucratic process? It would only be detrimental in Venezuela because there would be unrest that would not reach to any conclusion.”

In López’s’ opinion, Venezuela needs military help: countries like Colombia, Brazil, and the United States should join and create an alliance to intervene in Venezuela.

“They are also being affected by the narco-trafficking, the money laundering, and the terrorism that originates from the country. It is not because I am in Miami and it is easy for me to say so, but people who are in Venezuela do not have the answer to the crisis, do not know how to get out of it, and it is because it is evident that in a dictatorship there is no such thing as a peaceful or democratic solution. Either God will help us or other countries should…”

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Reports by QCR staff

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