At an October 14 press conference held at the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic in Caracas, the attorney general of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, reported that so far in 2022, 533 officials and 20 private collaborators have been charged for human rights violations in the country.
Attorney General Saab highlighted that this figure is the highest in the last five years and is more than double the number of indictments made in 2021. He added that since he took charge as the attorney general, a total of 1,463 people have been charged for committing abuses and violations in the domain of human rights.
Regarding the number of complaints registered on human rights violations, he highlighted that a total of 432 people, including 398 officials and 34 civilian collaborators, have been accused in 2022, while since 2017, a total of 1,627 people have been accused.
He also stated that so far this year, 181 officials and eight civilians have been arrested for human rights violations, and that since 2017, 769 officials and 39 civilians were arrested, amounting to a total of 808.
He also specified that this year the Public Prosecutor’s Office has achieved convictions against 64 officials and 19 civilians, for a total of 83 convictions. Since 2017, 358 people have been convicted, of which 261 were officials.
Saab stated that these figures show the hard work, diligence, and investigations carried out by the institution that he heads.
Among the landmark cases with convictions for human rights violations, Attorney General Saab highlighted the murder of David Vallenilla in the vicinity of the Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Air Base, in June 2017, the perpetrator of this crime was sentenced in October 2021 to 23 years in prison.
Similarly, he explained that on November 4, 2021, four ex-officials of the municipal police of Naguanagua and two members of the Carabobo state police were sentenced to 28 years and seven months in prison for the death of Leonardo González during a protest on July 27, 2017.
Two ex-officials of the Carabobo state police were similarly sentenced to 26 years and three months of imprisonment for the murder of Daniel Queliz.
The attorney general also referred to the case of former councilor Fernando Albán. Two officers of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) were sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison for the crimes of culpable homicide, breach of custody obligations, unlawful assembly, and favoring an aggravated escape.
Regarding the death of the teenager Rufo Chacón, the attorney general stated that two former officers of the Táchira state police have been sentenced to 27 years and nine months and 21 years and five months in prison for their role in the crime.
He also stated that an officer of the Anzoátegui state police was sentenced to 25 years and eight months in prison for the murder of César Pereira.
Finally, he referred to the death of Juan Pablo Pernalete, for which former officials Alejandro José Lorenzo Montero and José Alejandro Díaz were accused of premeditated homicide and conspiracy. They are awaiting their sentences.
Victim assistance service
Regarding assistance to victims of human rights violations, Saab stated that last year, the office of attention to victims in matters of human rights was created. He reported that 2,619 people have received assistance, of whom 1,325 reported attacks against their human rights and 1,294 received legal assistance and referrals to other legal or administrative entities.
He stressed that through this service, the Attorney General’s Office guarantees multidisciplinary attention to those who report human rights cases, which includes the reception and processing of the complaint, legal support, psychosocial attention, and, in some cases, the granting of protective measures.
Cooperation with the UN
Attorney General Saab reaffirmed the willingness of the Venezuelan state to continue a genuine and constructive dialogue with international human rights bodies and highlighted the work carried out by his institution in conjunction with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
He detailed that complaints have been received by the OHCHR office in Venezuela, which have been investigated and which have produced results that have been recognized by the former High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet in her reports.
Bachelet had reported that the government and the judiciary of Venezuela have adopted measures to strengthen the rule of law, including the adoption of legislative measures in the Organic Code of Criminal Procedure aimed at reducing procedural delays in judicial proceedings. She also highlighted that the Venezuelan justice system has addressed the issues regarding preventive and prolonged detention and overcrowding in detention centers, and that progress has been made in police reform.
Recruitment of prosecutors
Saab stated that during his administration, two credential and competitive examinations for prosecutor posts were held in 2021 and 2022, respectively, through which 52 prosecutors obtained their positions nationwide. He highlighted this as an important step to guarantee the autonomy of the judicial system.
Human rights training
Saab also spoke about the human rights training provided by the National School of Prosecutors, whose programs have reached a total of 104,748 people.
He explained that the programs include courses in human rights, as well as courses and workshops for officials of the Attorney General’s Office, other prosecutors, police officers, and the public.
Help and donation for victims of Las Tejerías tragedy
Saab also reported that starting from October 12, all senior prosecutors were instructed to allow the offices of the institution to also function as collection centers to receive donations and deliver them to the victims of the landslide in Las Tejerías.
He reported that in just two days, a total of 10,356 donations have been received by the prosecutors’ office, among which are 2,524 kilos of non-perishable food, 897 boxes of drinking water, 4,265 articles of clothing, 180 pairs of shoes, 287 toys, 1,389 hygiene products, in addition to mattresses, mats, kitchen utensils, cleaning items, and medicine.
He added that donation collection will continue for the duration of the emergency.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
- scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/February 17, 2024
- scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/February 14, 2024