This May 3, experts from the Venezuelan legal field presented their views on the investigations carried out by international organizations in the virtual forum “Mandate of the ICC office in Caracas and Extension of the Mandate of the FFM in Venezuela”
The investigation of the Fact-Finding Mission in Venezuela must continue; also the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC). These statements were agreed by experts from the legal field who gathered at the virtual forum Mandate of the ICC office in Caracas and Extension of the FFM Mandate in Venezuela.
The work of the Mission has promoted the cooperation of the State in terms of the vindication of the victims and their families, for this reason it is necessary to ensure that the work does not stop; they highlighted.
📅 May 3
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Carolina Girón, director of the Venezuelan Prison Observatory (OVP), opened the forum and stressed the importance of investigation through the mechanisms of the Mission.
He insisted that the installation of the ICC office in Venezuela, and within a State agency, could be good news, since in this way the internal disposition to do justice can be verified without any doubt, or at least carry out procedures that allow knowing that there is a will to be closer to it (justice).
For his part, Humberto Prado, director of the Latin American and Caribbean Prison Observatory (Olacp), pointed out that the extension of the work of the Fact Finding Mission is of the utmost importance, to support this is the irrefutable evidence issued in the two latest reports presented, which are a “black and white” on elements that could yield jurisdiction of the Intentional Criminal Court.
“An Unprecedented Deal”
The consultant in International Criminal Law and former regional coordinator for the Americas of the coalition for the ICC, Michelle Reyes, explained how the opening of the ICC investigations in Venezuela occurs through an unprecedented agreement.
“The first time that it opens with a memorandum of understanding in between, it has been a very active process and a very active civil society, this helping the Court to determine the parameters of principles of complementarity that must be met taking into account the evidence of cooperation presented by the State, which was determined not to meet the parameters,” he said.
In this sense, he affirmed that the work of the ICC has been facilitated by the contributions of other organizations; for example, the impact of the first report issued by the Mission, and after the second that put the precarious state of the judicial system under scrutiny, based on the elements of complementarity in the Rome Statute, which had an absolute impact due to the distancing of the Venezuelan State from the mandate of this powerful tool of the ICC.
After these two phases and two reports, the successful cooperation of the State was announced, this being a fundamental step. “The same doubts or fears were generated, but achieving the commitment to cooperation is important, and above all that this level of cooperation can continue,” said Carolina Girón.
In that order of ideas, several points must be analyzed regarding the scope of the Mission’s mandate, highlighting that the lack of inhibition by the Prosecutor, despite the request of the Venezuelan State, will allow the investigations to continue, this being the best news for the victims at the discretion of lawyer Fernando Fernández.
Fernández affirmed that it is one more step on the road to justice despite the changes in the “facade” in the judicial processes that the State has tried to carry out, trying to make them look like a show of will such as the COPP reform. .
Crimes against humanity
For Katya Salazar, executive director of the due process foundation “DPLF”, the Fact Finding Mission is a fundamental mechanism for documenting cases of human rights violations.
Some of these cases have reached the threshold of crimes against humanity, this documentation being essential to promote accountability by the Venezuelan State not only before the ICC, but also in other courts and in other jurisdictions. “Right now there are more than 100 open cases of corruption in Venezuela, in other countries,” he said.
“Obtaining information, everything that we have been able to know without the work of the Mission would not have been possible, we would not have been able to have it,” said lawyer Sara Fernández, coordinator of international advocacy for the Center for Justice and Peace (Cepaz), emphasizing the sample of patterns of violations that are carried out in the country, which allowed establishing routes to the guilty and naming the executors.
Information: OVP press