A Venezuelan NGO denounced that at least 61 people were killed in irregular security operations

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Venezuelan security forces are accused of extrajudicial executions (EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez)
Venezuelan security forces are accused of extrajudicial executions (EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez)

At least 61 people were killed in four security operations in Venezuelabetween May and September of this year, in events indicated this Wednesday as irregular by the non-governmental organization magnifying glass for lifesponsored by the human rights NGO Provea.

The victims, a report explains, were alleged members of criminal gangs and were murdered in alleged confrontations with the security forces of the Chavista regime, although some relatives assure that they were extrajudicial executions.

“There is a systematic and generalized pattern of human rights violations observed throughout the national territory. Most of the victims are young men from neighborhoods and towns between the ages of 15 and 29,” the NGO’s letter states.

One of the operations, registered in May, left eight dead in the Yaracuy state (west), followed by three police deployments in September that resulted in the murder of 14, 24 and 15 criminal suspects in Guárico (center), Miranda (north ) and Caracas, respectively.

One of the young men murdered “was sitting at the entrance to his house (…) when the police arrived and took him away, along with two other boys, including a minor,” said a relative of the victims quoted by the organization.

According to the report, there were three other operations this year, all called “Thunder Operations”of which they did not offer data for the moment.

Lupa por la Vida recalls that these actions are similar to those carried out in the framework of the so-called Operation for the Liberation of the People (OLP) that between 2015 and 2017 resulted in dozens of extrajudicial executions, according to a United Nations report.

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FAES members detain people during a night patrol in Barquisimeto (REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)
FAES members detain people during a night patrol in Barquisimeto (REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)

For his part, the operational strategic commander of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), Domingo Hernandez Larezreported last Sunday that five men with seven weapons of war and ammunition were detained by the Venezuelan military in the state of Táchira (west).

The subjects, captured in the framework of the so-called Operation Cacique Murachí 2022, are part of an “armed criminal group dedicated to extortion and smuggling,” said the official on his Twitter account, where he shared images of the seized material and the five subjects from behind.

Hernández Lárez also reported that members of the FANB found in the state of Amazonas (south), on the border with Colombia and Brazil, a “clandestine deposit” with more than 15,500 liters of fuel, used to “sustain illegal mining activities.”

“Venezuela is a territory of peace. The establishment of structures of armed groups for arms, drug trafficking, illegal mining, fuel trafficking or human trafficking will not be allowed,” the official said on the social network.

Saturday, Military troops seized more than 100 kilos of cocaine in the Sucre state (northeast)which were transporting four men linked to drug trafficking groups of Colombian origin, who were arrested.

Despite these military operations, for years the Venezuelan opposition has been denouncing the close ties of the Army with irregular groups and Colombian guerrillas.

(With information from EFE)

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