Rule of law in Venezuela 'eroded': UN rights chief

Masked agents of Venezuela's police intelligence agency stand guard in Caracas

Venezuela's government slammed the report as "distorted and biased", the BBC reported.

Between January 1st and May 19th of this year, another 1,569 people were killed, according to government figures.

"The incidence of alleged extrajudicial killings by security forces... has been shockingly high", Ms Bachelet's office said in a statement.

The UN rights chief also said the USA oil embargo and other sanctions imposed on Venezuela were taking a harsh toll, further exacerbating "the effects of the economic crisis, and thus the humanitarian situation".

Interviewees consistently referred to FAES as a "death squad" or "extermination group".

In her report, she especially pointed a finger at Venezuela's police special forces (FAES), and urged the authorities to "dissolve" the unit. "They would plant arms and drugs and fire their weapons against the walls or in the air to suggest a confrontation and to show the victim had 'resisted authority'".

Protesters in Venezuela confront official members of the armed forces during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela.

"Extrajudicial killings should be fully investigated with accountability of perpetrators and guarantees of non-recurrence".

This includes alleged torture in a number of cases with the United Nations detailing the possible methods used.

On accusations of torture, it says that detainees have been subjected to "one or more forms of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including electric shocks, suffocation with plastic bags, water boarding, sexual violence. and exposure to extreme temperatures".

Maduro personally commissioned a coterie of human rights abuses under his watch, including arbitrary detentions and the planting of evidence against opponents, Figuera said.

"The Maduro government must take immediate steps to stop the serious violations of human rights and crimes under worldwide law that continue to be committed in the country". According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) news release, 14 deaths during demonstrations have been reported in the context of 2018 demonstrations and with 66 deaths documented during protests between January and May 2019.

Thursday's report also decried a wide range of other grave rights violations in Venezuela, which is caught in an economic crisis and a political standoff between President Nicolas Maduro's government and National Assembly leader Juan Guaido. The latter, head of the country's National Assembly, declared himself interim President in January and has the backing of over 50 countries, including the USA and most of Latin America.

Mr Maduro, whose main backers also include Russian Federation and China, has accused the USA of leading an imperialist economic war against oil-rich Venezuela.

Ms Bachelet said in a statement that she had the Government's commitment to work with the United Nations to resolve some of the thorniest issues, including the use of torture and access to justice, and to allow full access to detention facilities.

Finally, UNICEF estimates that approximately 3.2 million children are in urgent need of healthcare and nutritional assistance; we urge the Maduro regime to facilitate unimpeded access to, and the the entry of, global humanitarian aid.

It said Venezuela's government had implemented a policy of fear aimed at "repressing and criminalising political opponents". Actually, 460 of 558 interviews were conducted outside Venezuela, accounting for 82 percent of the opinions expressed, ' Castillo assured in Vienna. "Essential institutions and the rule of law in Venezuela have been eroded", she said.



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