MEXICO CA CITY AC. (AP) – Venezuelan security forces working against Colombian rebels along the nation-wide border have executed villagers, tortured and arbitrarily detained people, as well as prosecuted civilians in military courts, the International Monitoring Group said on Monday.
The Human Rights Watch report said the operation began on March 21 in the rural state of Apure, where Venezuelan authorities had previously tolerated the presence of armed Colombians.
The report said the motives for the clashes varied, but community leaders, as well as human rights groups, told the organization that the militant group, which has close ties to the Venezuelan government, was trying to oust a rival guerrilla group to control drug trafficking. ,
“The brutal treatment of the soup population is not an isolated act committed by fraudulent agents, but is in line with the coordinated practice of the Venezuelan security forces,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Director of the United States. “An international investigation is possible against members of the security forces, commanders, high-ranking officials who knew or should have known what was going on during these operations.
The speech was published early Monday morning, եղել There were no immediate comments from Venezuelan officials.
The soup operation prompted some 6,000 people to flee, mostly to the Colombian city of Araucita, where shelters are now overcrowded. Not everyone has access to help.
A day after the clashes began, Venezuelan Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino Lopez said the operation had arrested more than 30 people, destroyed six rebel camps and confiscated weapons, but did not name a Colombian. involved armed group. Following allegations of abuse, Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek Saab announced two attempts to investigate the situation.
Human Rights Watch reports that several militant groups operate in border communities, including the Martín Villa 10th Front and the Second Marquetalia, both of which were formed after the 2016 demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC stands for Spanish:
In 2016, the Colombian government’s FARC peace deal ended five decades of war. But the group was deeply divided. Some of its members join the main left movements, while others renounce the peace process and return to arms.
The second Marquetalia is close to the socialist administration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Human Rights Watch reported. Its report said the group was seeking to oust the 10th Front, which it said was the target of Venezuela’s actions.
Among the cases of abuse described in detail in the report are the murders of four family members on March 25. Their bodies, with bullet wounds, cuts and other injuries, were found about a mile from their home. The statement said that forensic experts had decided that the weapon could be placed near their hands.
Emir Remolina, the son of two of those killed, told Human Rights Watch that he saw his parents alive that morning, but when he returned home in the afternoon, he found that it had sunk and his parents were missing. Neighbors said security forces loaded them on an armored tank.
“A few hours later, Emir saw messages and photos on WhatsApp that reported that (Bolivarian National Police Special Operations Forces) had killed a family on a farm near the village of El Ripial, about a mile from the Emir’s parents’ house. “, – the report says. “Images reviewed by Human Rights Watch show bodies lying on the ground with guns in their hands. The emir recognized them as his parents, uncle’s brother. ”
The preamble states that the Venezuelan government later reported that security forces had “neutralized” six people in Remolina’s parents’ community.
Colombia և Venezuela shares a border of about 1370 miles (2200 kilometers), but has not had diplomatic relations since February 2019 after Maduro’s decision to expel Colombian diplomats. Colombian President Ivan Duque does not recognize Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela, but instead supports opposition leader Juan Guaydo.