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Venezuela: State steps up repression of protests in the midst of the crisis

    May 02, 2019

    At least four people have been killed, more than 200 injured and 205 arrested during state repression of protests across Venezuela since 30 April, Amnesty International has confirmed.

    “The security forces under the command of Nicolás Maduro and the armed civilian groups that support him insist on repressing the protests by people demanding a way out of the serious political and human rights crisis that has plagued the country for several years,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The crimes under international law that they are committing add further weight to the already bulging dossier to be investigated under international justice systems. Maduro must put an immediate end to his policy of repression.”

    Amnesty International has been documenting the grave human rights violations and crimes under international law that have taken place in Venezuela since the crisis worsened in January 2019. The organization has documented extrajudicial executions, unlawful use of lethal force, arbitrary mass arrests and ill-treatment of people who speak out against Maduro’s government.

    Additional information

    On 30 April, National Assembly President Juan Guaidó announced that officers of the armed forces had joined his call “within the framework of the Constitution for the definitive end to the usurpation by Nicolás Maduro”.

    This announcement was accompanied by a call for the Venezuelan population to take to the streets in support of what he called “Operation Freedom,” prompting a series of protests that have faced strong repression by the security forces under the command of Nicolás Maduro and the armed civilian groups that support him (known as colectivos in Venezuela).

    Maduro, who called the 30 April announcement a “coup attempt,” called on the population to demonstrate in support of his government. On 1 May there were also demonstrations in support of his government, in which there have been no reports of people being injured, killed or detained.

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Lucy Scholey, Amnesty International Canada (English), + 613-744-7667 ext. 236,

    Venezuela: Authorities must stop armed attacks against the population (News, 23 February 2019)

    Venezuela: Hunger, punishment and fear, the formula for repression used by authorities under Nicolás Maduro (News, 20 February 2019)