• 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.

  • Members of the National Bolivarian Police detain a demonstrator at anti-government protests in Caracas, Venezuela, March 22, 2014.
    Venezuelan security forces have used unlawful force in response to antigovernment demonstrations, severely beating unarmed protesters and shooting them at point blank range, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces also subjected detainees to severe physical and psychological abuse, including in some cases torture, and justice officials failed to safeguard detainees’ due process rights.

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Reports

Venezuela

  • Jul 29, 2014
  • Jun 26, 2014
  • Jun 26, 2014
    Member states of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) should press the Venezuelan government to immediately address the serious human rights problems the country is facing.
  • Jun 23, 2014
    Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned by Uzbekistan’s appalling human rights record across a wide spectrum of violations. Authorities target civil society activists, political opposition figures, and independent journalists. Human Rights Watch is also deeply concerned about the serious human rights situation in Venezuela, which is the worst we have seen in the country in years.
  • Jun 3, 2014
    Here's an uncomfortable truth confronting Chinese President Xi Jinping: It's 2014, but the pro-democracy, pro-rights sentiments that manifested across China as demonstrations in 1989 are still alive and well.
  • May 5, 2014
    Venezuelan security forces have used unlawful force in response to antigovernment demonstrations, severely beating unarmed protesters and shooting them at point blank range, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces also subjected detainees to severe physical and psychological abuse, including in some cases torture, and justice officials failed to safeguard detainees’ due process rights.
  • 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.