Caracas – (Reuters):
According to a report published by her office on Monday, the International Criminal Court prosecutor believes there is a “reasonable basis” to believe that Venezuela has committed crimes against humanity.
Last September, the United Nations investigators found that the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro committed systematic violations of human rights, including murder and torture, amounting to crimes against humanity.
Based in The Hague, the court has been studying the Venezuela case since 2018 and expects to determine in 2021 whether it will open a full investigation, according to a report on the office’s activities for 2020 released on Monday.
“The office has concluded that the information available at this stage provides a reasonable basis for believing that since at least April 2017, members of the civilian authorities, members of the armed forces and government loyalists have committed crimes against humanity,” the report stated.
In 2017, protesters led months of protests against the government for undermining the opposition-led Legislative Council, a period marred by accusations of torture, arbitrary detention, and abuse by the security forces. The protests left 125 people dead.
The Venezuelan Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.