Trump took time off from threatening North Korea today in order to fire off a few threats at Venezuela. If the president decides he wants to send US troops into Venezuela, he probably now has the justification he needs, courtesy of the UN Humans Rights Commission. The Office of the High Commissioner has released a report accusing the government of “patterns” of human rights violations.
The mainstream media are already making hay out of it. “Venezuelan Armed Forces Accused of Torture,” was the headline in one outlet. Luisa Ortega, the ousted Venezuela attorney general, is apparently providing the foundation for the accusations. Here is a bit from the OHCHR report:
Witness accounts suggest that security forces, mainly the National Guard, the National Police and local police forces, have systematically used disproportionate force to instil fear, crush dissent, and to prevent demonstrators from assembling, rallying and reaching public institutions to present petitions. Government authorities have rarely condemned such incidents.
As of 31 July, the Attorney General’s Office was investigating 124 deaths in the context of the demonstrations. According to the UN Human Rights team’s analysis, security forces are allegedly responsible for at least 46 of those deaths, while pro-Government armed groups, referred to as “armed colectivos” are reportedly responsible for 27 of the deaths. It is unclear who the perpetrators in the remaining deaths may be. The Attorney-General’s Office was also investigating at least 1,958 reported cases of injuries, although the actual number of people injured may be considerably higher. Information collected by the team suggests that armed colectivos routinely break into protests on motorcycles, wielding firearms and harassing or in some cases shooting at people.