A report by the United Nations (UN) details that officers of the Military Counterintelligence Direction (DGCIM) — Maduro’s political police — not only perpetrate serious human rights violations in Venezuela, but that the way they do it is through Nazi practices.
The UN independent experts explained that members of that organization tortured a member of the military detained during Operation Gideon, a failed armed uprising against the tyrant.
The Nazi torture mechanism
The document states that in August 7, 2020, one of the accused testified before a court that after being arrested, but before being presented to the judge (almost 20 days later), agents of the DGCIM interrogated him under torture by suffocating him with a bag, which resulted in him being taken to a military hospital to be resuscitated.
According to the testimony, the agents told him that they would apply the “Sippenhaft” (…) and then went to his house to arrest his two sisters and his brother-in-law, who were held in the dungeons for 32 days.
Sippenhaft or Sippenhaftung was a legal concept established in Nazi Germany according to which the responsibility of an accused for crimes against the state automatically extended to his family members.
The revelation is part of the Verification Mission’s extensive 212-page report which concludes that the Venezuelan judicial system lacks independence and is engaged in serious human rights violations.
The report also reveals what has already been denounced on other occasions, which is that judges in Venezuela receive orders from the tyranny on how to decide sentences. Sometimes these orders come from the highest levels of the regime and are channeled through the illegitimate Supreme Court of Justice.
The report notes that in 113 of the 183 detention cases analyzed by the Mission, detainees or their representatives have filed complaints of torture, sexual violence or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Maduro, facing the International Criminal Court
This is not the first time that the regime of Nicolás Maduro has been known to relentlessly violate the human rights of Venezuelans; in fact, on August 12, former International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the tyranny has committed “crimes against humanity.”
Bensouda cited “imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of the fundamental rules of international law”; torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence of “comparable gravity”, as well as “persecution against any identifiable group or collective on political grounds.”
Despite the former prosecutor’s assertion, there is still no clear answer at the International Criminal Court regarding a trial against Nicolás Maduro and his officials in The Hague.