Thousands of Venezuelans have been victims of “torture and ill-treatment, sexual violence, and killings and enforced disappearance” under the illegitimate Maduro regime, according to a United Nations report released July 5.
“One of the most unsettling statistics” in the report, noted State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, “is that the former Maduro regime’s Special Action Forces killed at least 5,287 people in 2018 and, at minimum, another 1,569 by mid-May 2019.”
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, in presenting the report, said, “Essential institutions and the rule of law in Venezuela have been profoundly eroded.” Bachelet noted that indigenous communities are “being exploited in conditions of slavery for the illegal extraction of gold.”
Bachelet noted that figures published by the Central Bank of Venezuela on May 28 demonstrate that key economic indicators began to decline well before August 2017, when foreign sanctions began.
She announced that the U.N.’s torture-prevention body will be visiting Venezuela’s detention facilities in response to the report’s findings.
Ortagus urged the international community to formally recognize interim President Juan Guaidó “and withdraw any lingering support for the former Maduro regime” in light of the human rights commissioner’s report.