Venezuela: extrajudicial executions exceed 14,000 in ten years

Cofavic compiles the list of those executed from press reports, in a country where there is strict censorship. The actual numbers could be much higher.

The NGO Cofavic has counted 14,200 cases of extrajudicial executions in Venezuela from 2012 to July of this year, a measurement that has been made independently due to the "opacity that exists in the official figures."

During the year 2021, Cofavic carried out an independent press control which allowed the registration of a total of 1,424 cases of human rights violations, of which 1,246 correspond to alleged extrajudicial executions, 162 cases of alleged arbitrary detentions and 15 cases of alleged torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and 1 case of forced disappearance.

In the first half of the year 2022, Cofavic conducted the measurement again based on an independent press monitoring that allowed the registration of a total of 563 cases of alleged human rights violations, of which 431 (77%) correspond to alleged extrajudicial executions.

According to Cofavic, the Scientific, Criminal and Criminalistic Investigations Corps is responsible for 30% of extrajudicial executions; the state police forces for 21%; the Bolivarian National Police Corps (PNB)-including its Special Action Forces (FAES) 17%; the Armed Forces 15%; the Municipal Police Corps 11%; the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service 2%. In 4% of the cases, another security force participated or there was participation of civilian groups with the approval of the State.

Lack of official figures and censorship

In the Venezuela governed by Nicolás Maduro there are no real official homicide figures. The Global Peace Index 2021 assured that the country became the least safest country in the entire region. However, the absolute control exercised by the repressive forces of the State means that the surveys are not and cannot be complete. Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, the government has exerted an ever increasing dominance and censorship over information.

In 2018, the Gallup company said Venezuela was the most violent country in the world. In 2017 and 2018, the number of murders evidenced by the polls was close to 30,000 cases, and more than 5,000 executions at the hands of both the police and military forces affected by the dictatorship, in each of the years.