This week, United Nations Commissioner Miguel Pizarro issued statements related to the Global Forum on Refugees and the oral update of the report on the situation of human rights in Venezuela, presented by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: “This week we participated in two events of great relevance for our country. They dealt with issues such as the massive migration of Venezuelans, the complex humanitarian emergency and the continuous violation of human rights by the dictatorship.”
The First Global Refugee Forum was held by UNHCR on December 17 and 18, on the eve of World Immigrant Day. There, the migration situation of millions of people was highlighted and agreements were reached with the countries involved to reach solutions. Pizarro remarked the importance of addressing the issue of Venezuela in this forum: “Venezuela is experiencing an unprecedented migration in the region as a result of a man-made crisis, bad government decisions, the collapse of the State and the destruction of institutions.”
“Venezuelans don’t walk for hours, days and weeks between international borders because they decided to or just because they are looking for opportunities. They are migrating, fleeing from the worst complex humanitarian emergency in Latin America. During the forum, reference was made to the refugee status of Venezuelan migrants when they migrate without the necessary tools, because they are fleeing from a political and social conflict that closed doors for them in their own country. This is why we need to reach solutions and bilateral agreements that ensure the protection of Venezuelans around the world,” said the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights.
For its part, on December 18th, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) gave a second oral update to the July report on human rights violations in Venezuela. This second update addressed issues such as the prison system; the low purchasing power of Venezuelans; the vulnerability of women, children, and youth; extrajudicial executions; political retaliation against members of the opposition; public service failures; migration; and violations of freedom of expression.
Likewise, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet reiterated her call to the State to “comply with the opinions of the Working Group on arbitrary detention and, consequently, to grant full freedom to Congressman Juan Requesens. Similarly, it expressed its concern at “the presence of irregular armed groups involved in the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Arco Minero and the killing of eight people with firearms in the community of Ikabarú, located in the Pemón indigenous territory” and urged the authorities to take the necessary measures to protect the affected communities and dismantle the irregular armed groups present in the area.
Congressman Miguel Pizarro pointed out that this second update evidences the continued violation of human rights by the Venezuelan State, using the police and military forces, as well as public institutions. “This report evidences the hardship, misery and neglect suffered by Venezuelans. Nicolás Maduro’s regime of does not guarantee the right to health, nor to food and even less to the protection of life. They use the forces of the State and public institutions to promote the mafias that carry out the ecocide in the Arco Minero and massacres of the indigenous peoples, as well as to intimidate the National Assembly because it is the only existing legitimate power.”
Pizarro ended by saying: “Today, Venezuela has the opportunity to make its situation visible, to have countries and bilateral agencies sit down to discuss what is happening in our country. To recognize the Complex Humanitarian Emergency, to recognize a migration crisis of such magnitude that has no precedent in the history of the region is to recognize the destruction and misery that the dictatorship has caused in Venezuela. They only aggravate the situation; any solution must begin with the political departure of those who have brought us here. Today, we continue to demonstrate that the voice of the Venezuelan people is heard and heeded, that this regime is singled out for its bad governance and is gradually losing the last vestige of diplomatic recognition it has left.”