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Heads of Venezuela’s civilian and military intelligence services have committed crimes against humanity to repress the opposition through actions that dictator Nicolás Maduro directly ordered and his closest collaborators, the UN denounced today.
“Nicolás Maduro and other high-level authorities (…) were the masterminds in the design, implementation, and maintenance of a machinery to repress dissent,” said today, an international fact-finding mission created by the UN for Venezuela.
“The Venezuelan state uses intelligence services and their agents to repress dissent in the country. This leads to the commission of serious crimes and human rights violations, including acts of torture and sexual violence,” states an extensive report presented to the press by the mission.
This report expands on the findings that this same mission exposed in 2020 and now focuses on the activities of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) and the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin).
In the case of the Sebin, the report points to the current director general, Gustavo Enrique González, the director of the Helicoide (main detention center) between 2014 and 2018, Carlos Alberto Calderón; and his right hand in that period, Ronny González, as responsible.
In the DGCIM, the general director Iván Rafael Hernández is mentioned, as well as former heads of different levels of the agency: Rafael Antonio Franco, Hannover Esteban Guerrero, and Alexander Enrique Granko.
However, it is specified that the actions of all of them were the product of direct orders from Maduro and, in the case of the Sebin, also from Diosdado Cabello, his first VP.
“The documented acts of violence were not carried out by isolated and unconnected individuals acting alone within the Sebin and the DGCIM. These violations, which constitute crimes against humanity, were part of a deliberate government policy to silence and stifled the opposition,” the report emphasizes.
The mission has documented the cases of 122 victims subjected to torture, sexual violence, and other inhumane treatment in the DGCIM centers, especially in its main headquarters in Caracas (known as Boleíta) and 51 by Sebin agents, mainly in the Helicoide, against opponents, journalists, demonstrators and activists.
Although the cases denounced belong especially to the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, the violations and crimes by the Sebin and the DGCIM continue to this day, maintaining the same structures, patterns and practices, states the mission, led by jurist Marta Valiñas.