Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, said today during an interview with Efe that in Latin America, “crimes are investigated by torturing the accused“. Mendez spoke generally on the human rights situations in Venezuela, Honduras, and Brazil, but his comments rang true to some of the things we’ve seen happen in Venezuela over the past four months. Specifically on the police, Mendez said:
Our police forces act with a lot of impunity because they’re used to that (…) There hasn’t been a serious effort by the emerging democracies to reform the police, partly because of the political framework in which the issue of security is discussed.
The comments by Mendez follow a statement of “concern” made by Rupert Colville, the United Nations Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Yesterday, Colville expressed concern over the alleged violations of the human rights of those detained during protests in the country since February of this year.
During a press conference in Geneva yesterday, Colville pointed out that the right to due process is not being respected in cases involving people arrested during marches and protests in Venezuela. Today, the government released a letter rejecting Colville’s comments. The letter reads in part:
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects in the most overwhelming manner the unfounded and vile allegations made by My. Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights…
The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela deeply regrets the absolute lack of objectivity and impartiality displayed by Mr. Colville…
Rolling Blackouts Continue in Caracas
While the power outage that affected 60% of the country yesterday appears to have been largely resolved, rolling blackouts continued to plague Caracas today. According to Twitter reports, the neighbours of El Paraiso, La Urbina, La Candelaria, Macaracuay, La California Norte, Quinta Crepos and several others were all affected in some way today by power outages.
Finally, a picture of a banner spotted at a World Cup match in Brazil: