Venezuela: The Responsibility of Those in Charge

High-level officials of the Bolivarian National Guard, the Bolivarian National Police, the Bolivarian National Intelligence Services, and the Military Attorney General’s Office have failed to take adequate steps to prevent or punish human rights violations committed by their subordinates On June 6, 2017, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López acknowledged for the first time that members of the National Guard had committed abuses, stating, “I don’t want to see another member of the National Guard committing an atrocity on the street.” He also said that those who fail to respect human rights and act unprofessionally “must assume their responsibility.” This is a radical departure from previous statements in which he claimed that operations had been carried out with “absolute respect for human rights,” and rejected the Attorney General’s Office’s findings implicating members of the National Guard in the death of a protester. Allegations of abuse have continued since then.

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