• The April 2013 presidential election, held weeks after the death of President Hugo Chávez, resulted in a narrow victory for Chávez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolás Maduro, according to Venezuelan electoral authorities. The Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council rejected appeals filed by the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, challenging the results. The controversy over the results touched off street demonstrations and counterdemonstrations, which led to at least nine deaths and dozens of injured, as well as excessive use of force and arbitrary detentions by security forces.

  • Opposition supporters stand over a tank in San Cristobal, Venezuela on February 19, 2014.

    Venezuelan security forces have used excessive and unlawful force against protesters on multiple occasions since February 12, 2014, including beating detainees and shooting at crowds of unarmed people.

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Venezuela

  • Apr 9, 2014
    Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro took to the opinion pages of The New York Times to counter the bad press his government has received for its crackdown on widespread protests over the past two months. Yet the steps he’s taken to respond to the protests at home have shown that the deficiencies of Venezuelan democracy are all too real.
  • Mar 18, 2014

    Human Rights Watch is very concerned about the human rights situation in Venezuela. The violence in the wake of student and opposition demonstrations that began on February 12th in Venezuela has left a toll of more than 20 people dead, dozens injured, hundreds arrested and serious allegations of brutality, torture, and abuse committed by security forces. The government has also tolerated and collaborated with pro-government armed groups of civilians.

  • Mar 12, 2014

    While Latin American foreign ministers meet in Chile this week to discuss the situation in Venezuela, Leopoldo López, one of the most prominent leaders of the Venezuelan political opposition, is detained in a military prison waiting for a provisional judge (with no security of tenure) to decide whether he will be put on trial, even though authorities have yet to present credible evidence against him.

  • Feb 28, 2014
    The Organization of American States (OAS) and its member countries should proceed with a meeting on the situation in Venezuela. The OAS should use the meeting to address the human rights violations committed in response to widespread public demonstrations since February 12, 2014.
  • Feb 21, 2014

    Venezuelan security forces have used excessive and unlawful force against protesters on multiple occasions since February 12, 2014, including beating detainees and shooting at crowds of unarmed people.

  • Feb 13, 2014

    Venezuelan authorities should investigate the violence during demonstrations across the country on February 12, 2014 promptly and impartially. Investigations should not be used as a pretext for prosecuting political opponents or limiting free speech. 

  • Sep 18, 2013
  • Jul 16, 2013
  • Jul 11, 2013
  • Apr 17, 2013

    The government of Venezuela should not limit citizens’ rights to freely express their views and assemble peacefully in response to the disputed presidential election, Human Rights Watch said today. It should respect freedom of the press and all violent incidents should be subject to prompt, thorough, and impartial investigations, Human Rights Watch said.