The international community sent two hard messages to the Government of Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday. In the first, from the headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, denounced torture, assassinations and an acute social crisis in Venezuela. In the second, at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), the images of a clandestine torture center were shown for the first time publicly.
During a preview of the report prepared by the team of the Chilean president, visiting in Venezuela invited by Maduro, Bachelet denounced the serious human rights crisis that the country is experiencing and the collapse in the medical and educational services that have caused the exodus of more of three million people. According to Bachelet, despite this panorama, the Venezuelan authorities refuse to recognize the dimensions of the "vast humanitarian crisis", while the sanctions imposed by the United States "may further aggravate the economic situation."
On the repression, Bachelet said that the Venezuelan security forces, backed by the "armed groups", paramilitary groups related to the Government, have repressed the peaceful dissidence with excessive use of force, deaths and torture documented by their office. At the same time, the former president of Chile quoted accusations accusing the Force of Special Actions of the National Police (FAES) of executing 37 people in January in Caracas, in illegal raids on houses in poor areas that supported the opposition.
"The murders follow a similar pattern and occur during illegal raids on the houses carried out by the FAES, afterwards they report the death as a result of an armed confrontation, although witnesses report that the victims were unarmed", summarized Bachelet in reference to the methodology employed and that in 2018 it would have killed 205 people.
"As a direct result of this profound human rights crisis, more than three million people have fled Venezuela in search of food, medical care, work and protection," he said.
In reference to recent blackouts in Venezuela, the UN commissioner said that "they symbolize the infrastructure problems facing the country," where a million children have stopped going to school because of economic problems of their families and schools or because of the simple lack of teachers, many of whom have emigrated, he said.
On the work of journalists, after harsh weeks of detention and persecution, Bachelet said that Venezuelan authorities had prosecuted journalists, opposition leaders and critics unfairly. Bachelet also pointed out the sanitary chaos that the country is experiencing, one of the flags of the Bolivarian Government. "The health care system continues to deteriorate, which has a significant impact on maternal and infant mortality and the spread of infectious diseases, which had previously been under control."
According to the high commissioner, all this black panorama will be aggravated by the sanctions imposed from the United States on financial transfers linked to the sale of Venezuelan oil and that could further damage the economy. Bachelet, however, acknowledged that the "generalized and devastating economic and social crisis" began before the US sanctions in January.
Almost parallel to the Bachelet conference, a shocking video about a police torture center was presented in Washington. In the same, the lieutenant of aviation Ronald Dugarte, ex- member of the General Direction of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim), today in whereabouts unknown, showed a clandestine recording where the dungeons are seen where there are several military men. In one of them, Captain Caguaripano refuses to eat because he is urinating blood and in another one Colonel Mejías Laya is seen on the ground, who spent 30 days with his eyes blindfolded and his hands tied behind his back. The videos were recorded between December 2018 and February of this year by the lieutenant hired in August for intelligence work in the SEBIN (Bolivarian National Intelligence Service).
Dugarte pointed out that dozens of prisoners are frequently tortured with electric shocks, asphyxiation with plastic bags, beatings and injections of unknown substances.
The Aviation Lieutenant mentioned that he was trained for counterintelligence tasks by a mixed militia made up of Venezuelan and Cuban military personnel. According to the lieutenant, although he could not access the torture centers, it was possible to hear the cries of pain of the detained soldiers. "If I could hear their screams and cries of so much pain, they were tied and stayed in that form for a month without any right to anything," he said during a Skype conference in which OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro was present. According to human rights organizations, in Venezuela there are some 200 military detainees and the repression and suspicions about them have increased as they have become the last great support that Chavismo has to maintain itself in power.