The human rights group Amnesty International says it believes the Maduro regime committed crimes against humanity in Venezuela and wants the International Criminal Court to investigate.
“Faced with grave human rights violations, shortages of medicine and food and generalized violence, there is an urgent hunger for justice,” Amnesty says in a new report.
It says there was a “high-level of coordination” between security forces across Venezuela to “neutralize or eliminate” anyone who was even suspected of opposing President Nicolas Maduro, especially in impoverished areas.
“Authorities at the highest level, including Nicolas Maduro, knew about these public and appalling acts and took no measures to either prevent or investigate them,” Amnesty said.
It urges the United Nations Human Rights Council to set up a panel of inquiry at its upcoming session next month and wants the International Criminal Court in The Hague to consider action against the Maduro government.
“We call on all states to urgently show their unequivocal support for the victims of these events and ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished ... until there is a clear way forward towards truth, justice and reparations, Venezuela will continue to be mired in this extremely serious human rights crisis and repression,” Amnesty says.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim Venezuelan president by using his constitutional authority as head of the National Assembly to declare Maduro’s re-election a fraud.
Guaido’s efforts at leading a national uprising against Maduro have so far failed because Maduro still has the support of the Venezuelan military.