The new report by Human Rights Watch is clear: the abuses were not isolated incidents in Venezuela. The way in which people were mistreated implied a level of coordination beyond simple “rogue” security forces acting wild. It strongly suggests coordination between security forces, paramilitaries, prosecutors, and judges. From this, calling it a state-wide terror campaign … is just a hop and a skip away. Much more here, and this sobering post from Caracas Chronicles includes the link where the 103-page report, “Punished for Protesting: Rights Violations in Venezuela’s Streets, Detention Centers, and Justice System,” is available in English and Spanish.
The most recent report by Human Rights Watch on the protests in Venezuela comprehensibly dismantles the government’s line of defense on allegations of human rights abuses. In page after page of meticulous research the NGO documents a pattern of routinized human rights abuse, a finding with deep implications in International Human Rights Law.
HRW has produced an investigative landmark and we just don’t feel we can do justice to it with with a single post. That’s why we will be writing about the report all this week: highlighting some of its stories in detail and presenting some of its lines of argument to dissect the implications for Venezuela, and for chavismo in particular.
Personally, the first thing that caught my eye is HRW’s finding of “systematic” human rights violations. This is no lexical meandering – the word has deep implications in human rights law.
Pay close attention to the language in…
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