thousands of extrajudicial executions in Venezuela

Nearly 18,000 people have been killed since 2016 according to the UN, which speaks of a "pattern of systematic behavior".

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The municipal police of Caracas makes a routine check in 2012.
The municipal police of Caracas makes a routine check in 2012. LEO RAMIREZ / AFP

The figure is taken from official records: nearly 18,000 Venezuelans have been murdered by the police since 2016. Eighteen thousand. "A drip slaughter", summarizes Keymer Avila, professor of criminology at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas. "A war against the people", sighs Maria C., whose son was killed by the police. In a country where mafias and police are too often The militarization of security policy has turned into a nightmare.

In the statistics, the victims of the police force appear under the heading "resistance to authority". But human rights organizations, including the UN, have been able to establish that the vast majority of cases involve extrajudicial executionss. The victims are killed unarmed. According to Tamara Taraciuk of Human Rights Watch (HRW), author of a recent report on the subject: "There is a model of systematic conduct of the public force. " The government denies.

Read also UN launches investigation into human rights violations in Venezuela

In Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council voted on Friday (September 27th) to set up an international mission to shed light on these executions, as well as on enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions. torture and other abuses attributable to the police. "This vote is a great victory for the victims, who have no chance of obtaining justice in their country," underlines Mme Taraciuk.

"FAES are untouchable"

Maria C. prefers not to give her real name, nor to receive in the slum where she lives on the heights of Caracas. In a cafeteria downtown, she tells her story by lowering her voice. "I have three daughters and two sons, one went wrongshe lets go. They killed each other. " " The other " was 18, he worked in the markets. "It was just before dawn. We heard the motorcycles arrive in the street. They knocked on the doorcontinues the woman. My daughter opened, my son was in pajamas. The hooded men pointed their weapons. Two took my daughter and me out and took us two blocks away. We waited ten minutes, maybe less. And then we heard three shots and the sound of motorcycles. My son was lying on the tile floor. "


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