UCF Global Perspectives


U.N. Reports Venezuelan Death Squads Kill Young Men

Paula Moya, Intern, Latin America and the Caribbean

July 9, 2019

The U.N. accused Venezuelan security forces of using death squads to kill young men under the pretense of resisting arrest (Al Jazeera). U.N. Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, released a report on Thursday documenting a high number of alleged extrajudicial killings of political opponents in Venezuela (BBC). The Venezuelan government registered nearly 5,300 killings last year and 1,569 killings so far this year linked to cases of resistance to authority (AP). Witnesses refer to Venezuela’s Special Action Forces (FAES) as a “death squad” or “extermination group” (Al Jazeera).

The U.N. report focuses on the last 18 months and consists of over 550 interviews with victims, rights violations witnesses, rights defenders and other sources (AP). People accused FAES of driving black pick-up trucks without license plates, breaking into homes, taking belongings and assaulting women and girls (Al Jazeera). The report stated that FAES would plant weapons and drugs, fire their weapons to suggest victims were resisting authority and shoot young men after separating them from relatives (Reuters). Reports claim the U.N. perceives FAES and other security forces are acting as instruments to instill fear and maintain social control over Venezuela’s population (BBC). The Venezuelan government called the report biased and reliant on “sources lacking in objectivity” (Reuters).






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