(Mérida 05/02/2020).- The Observatory of Human Rights of the University of Los Andes (ODH-ULA) rejects and regrets the decision of the de facto Venezuelan regime to prevent the in loco visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), whose delegates would arrive on Tuesday 4 February to Venezuela, after 18 years of the last visit to the country by this main and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Likewise, the ODH-ULA joins human rights organizations that also raise their voices to raise awareness of the violations that the Venezuelan State has committed against its citizens for years. In this sense, the ODH-ULA emphasizes the human rights violations of the inhabitants of the Andean states of the country, which has documented this observatory since its creation, in 2014. The ODH-ULA also highlights the abuses committed by the de facto regime against university rights and academic freedom.
Impunity and absence of justice
During 2019, only in the state of Mérida, the ODH-ULA recorded murders of three people committed by police officers in the exercise of their functions. In all cases there was undifferentiated use of force and the national and international standards of performance of law enforcement officials were violated, ”says the ODH-ULA report. None of the victims, nor their relatives, have received justice or reparations.
The ODH-ULA also highlights violations of victims’ rights due to the extension of these cases, due to the recurrence of delays and irregularities in judicial proceedings, as well as the denial of justice and reparation by the Venezuelan State.
The same situation is lived by more than 30 victims assisted or represented by the ODH-ULA legal team, who add at least two years awaiting justice. One of them is the ULA student Erickvaldo Márquez, who was arrested at his home on September 13, 2017 for an incident that occurred five months earlier, on April 24, in the framework of social protests registered in Mérida. Márquez remains deprived of liberty in inhuman conditions, as lawyers of the ODH-ULA have found in their visits to the detention center where he is held, located in Glorias Patrias.
In the Andean region of the country, state repression has caused deaths and unrecoverable injuries in dozens of victims. On July 1, 2019, the teenager Rufo Chacón lost his eyes after the attack of a police officer. Chacón was participating in a peaceful protest for lack of domestic gas in the Táchira state.
The ODH-ULA has documented more than 20 cases similar to those of the young Rufo Chacón, where the victims have partially or totally lost their vision due to direct attacks on the face in the framework of repression carried out by public force officials.
Some of the cases documented by the ODH-ULA were presented on November 12, 2019 at a hearing granted by the IACHR, within the framework of the 174th session held in Quito, Ecuador.