With the sponsorship of the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences and the ‘Alfonzo X el Sabio’ University, this Friday was held the Forum “The Case of Venezuela in the International Criminal Court” with the participation of a panel of experts.
The meeting was held based on the need to analyze and generate conclusions that would allow the understanding of the scope, impact and assignment of criminal responsibilities for crimes against human rights and against humanity, committed within the framework of the most serious humanitarian crisis that the hemisphere has ever seen, caused by a corrupt and criminal regime such as that of Nicolas Maduro, which has generated the migration of more than 5.2 million Venezuelans destabilizing the entire region.
In their interventions, all the speakers started from the analysis of the different reports by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and in more detail on the most recent reports by the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission, in which testimonies of victims and victims’ families are exposed, leading to the conclusion that crimes against humanity are carried out in Venezuela, coordinated, planned and executed by the chain of command.
For his part, the Venezuelan ambassador to Honduras and academic, Dr. Claudio Sandoval highlighted the importance of the principle of complementarity and its role at the ICC level, the conceptual, normative and jurisprudential. Highlighting in turn that the administration system of Venezuela’s justice system is not independent and is structurally biased, which is why it will never be able to investigate and prosecute all those responsible for crimes against humanity committed between 2014 and 2017. Having said this, he remarked that “the International Criminal Court, based on the main legal source that establishes the complementarity in the system of the ICC enshrined in Article 17 of the Rome Statute, is obliged to investigate and prosecute those responsible for crimes of those who are accused.”
“The lack of investigation and prosecution of Mr. Nicolás Maduro Moros in the Venezuelan criminal jurisdiction produces as a legal consequence what, at the level of the Court’s complementarity, is called ‘State inaction’.”
“I am referring specifically to Mr. Nicolás Maduro Moros for two main reasons. In the first place, because as they would say colloquially, he is the big fish, he is the one who has been directly pointed out by the United Nations, through its MIVH, which maintains in paragraph 2103 of its most recent report that Maduro Moros heads the hierarchical top of the chain of command of the Venezuelan State and in charge of the perpetration of various crimes against humanity, among which stand out, torture, disappearances, murders, and arbitrary arrests against members of the political opposition of Venezuela.” specified Ambassador Sandoval.
This has been denounced by the IACHR, by the report of experts from the Organization of American States, Venezuelan civil society, the victims themselves, reputed international non-governmental organizations, and the submission of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru before the ICC also includes this warning.
Ambassador Sandoval highlighted that the lack of an investigation or prosecution process against Mr. Maduro Moros in Venezuela, in his opinion, legally shields the admissibility of Venezuela’s I case before the OTP and before the Pre-Trial Chamber, in relation to those communications in which aforementioned citizen in is indicated as responsible.
It is important to remember that on November 5th, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she had concluded phase II of the Preliminary Examination, in which she determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity were perpetrated in Venezuela, which means that it has advanced to phase III of the EP, that is, complementarity and gravity.
The ambassador highlighted: “In this sense, Mr. Tareck Willian Saab, whom the ICC recognizes as Venezuela’s attorney general, reacted to the ICC’s announcement, implying that the principle of complementarity should not be applied in the Venezuela I case, since the Venezuelan justice system has investigated and prosecuted human rights violators. In addition, Saab highlighted the willingness to cooperate with the ICC in all matters related to phase III.