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


Bachelet gave their two names in remarks to journalists after the U.N. Human Rights Council held a debate on her report of a visit to Venezuela in June.

Maduro won a second term in a disputed election previous year and has faced attempts by the US-backed opposition to oust him amid an escalating economic crisis.

Deputy Foreign Minister William Castillo insisted the report from High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet "does not reflect the reality in our country". "We should all be able to agree that all Venezuelans deserve a better life, free from fear and with access to adequate food, water, healthcare, housing and all other basic human needs", Ms Bachelet said.

Authorities in Mr. Maduro's government tallied 5,287 killings during security operations that were classified as cases of "resistance to authority", plus another 1,569 this year through May 19, the report said. "Many may constitute extrajudicial killings, and should be fully investigated, with the accountability of perpetrators, and guarantees of non-recurrence".

In her report, she especially pointed a finger at Venezuela's police special forces (FAES), and urged the authorities to "dissolve" the unit.

However, we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating political, human rights and humanitarian situation in Venezuela.

Venezuela's President, Nicolas Maduro has had his leadership challenged by the leader of the country's national assembly, Juan Guaido who sees Maduro's tenure as president as illegitimate, following a botched election previous year which many opposition parties boycotted.

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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. 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 United States and most of Latin America.

The report concluded that "there are reasonable grounds to believe that grave violations of economic and social rights, including the rights to food and health, have been committed in Venezuela".

"There is a pattern of torture reports in Venezuela in the context of arbitrary detention", Bachelet said.

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.

And Bachelet called on the government to "establish an impartial and independent national mechanism, with the support of the global community, to investigate extrajudicial executions during security operations, ensure accountability of perpetrators and redress for victims".

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.

Her comments follow the publication of a new report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Venezuela, mandated by the Human Rights Council, in response to longstanding concerns by Member States.