The ODH-ULA participated in the panel «Regions: the invisible realities of the Venezuelan crisis» and it gave an account of the difficult situation of the country’s Andean states.

(Mérida, 18/11/2019) – The fourth edition of the Human Rights Fair (FDH)[1] was held in Maracaibo from November 14th to 16th, it is a meeting between non-governmental and civil society organizations that is organized since 2016 by the Commission for Human Rights of the State of Zulia (Codhez)[2]. For the third time, The Human Rights Observatory of the University of Los Andes (ODH-ULA)[3] participated in this activity, and it exposed the situation in this area in the Andean states of the country.

More than thirty national and seven international organizations participated in this IV Human Rights Fair, whose organization had the alliance between Codhez, the Human Rights Network of the State of Zulia (Redhez)[4], Provea and Asuntos del Sur[5], an Argentine organization that seeks the development of parity, inclusive and participatory democracies. The Centro de Bellas Artes de Maracaibo was the space where the FDH held cycles of conferences, dissertation panels and cultural presentations.

The activities of this FDH were focused above all on the promotion and defense of rights of environment, women, children, and people with disabilities, youth, indigenous peoples and the LGBTIQ+ community. The role of civil society in the midst of increasingly challenging regional contexts was also discussed.

Regions: the invisible realities of the Venezuelan crisis

ODH-ULA, together with Codhez, the Commission for Human Rights and Citizenship (Codehciu)[6], the Lisandro Alvarado Central Western University Human Rights Chair (UCLA Human Rights Chair)[7] and the Action and Defense Center for Human Rights (Cadef)[8], participated in the FDH on Wednesday, November 14th in a panel entitled «Regions: the invisible realities of the Venezuelan crisis.”

Oriana Araque and Álvaro Ramírez, members of ODH-ULA, represented this organization and they indicated the most violated rights in the three Andean states: Mérida, Táchira and Trujillo. This situation has been documented by this Observatory since its creation in 2014.

The ODH-ULA reported the worsening of basic services in the region this year; the repression and extrajudicial executions committed by law enforcement officials; the dismantling of the University of Los Andes (ULA) due to repeated thefts and attacks on university autonomy. This last one with an special reference to sentence N° 324, issued last August 27th by the Constitutional Chamber of the illegitimate Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ)[9], which establishes norms and calendars to carry out university elections, and it violates what is established in the Law of Universities.

The representatives of ODH-ULA also referred to the recent participation of this organization in the public hearing «Torture, extrajudicial execution and gross human rights violence due to State repression in Venezuela», which was last November 12th in the framework of the 174th session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), held in Quito, Ecuador.


[1] Acronym in Spanish (Feria de Derechos Humanos).

[2] Acronym in Spanish (Comisión para los Derechos Humanos del Estado Zulia).

[3] Acronym in Spanish (Observatorio de los Derechos Humanos de la ULA).

[4] Acronym in Spanish (Red de Derechos Humanos del Estado Zulia).

[5] Some Human Rights organizations.

[6] Acronym in Spanish (Comisión para los Derechos Humanos y la Ciudadanía).

[7] Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado.

[8] Acronym in Spanish (Centro de Acción y Defensa por los Derechos Humanos).

[9] Acronym in Spanish (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia).

ODH-ULA returns to Maracaibo Human Rights Fair

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