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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 149 of 190 and Foro Penal has formally registered 138 cases of torture or cruel and inhuman treatment in the context of detentions.651 It is alleged that due to the fear of persecution and the absence of adequate legal recourse to victims, the actually number of victims is significantly higher and many of the victims have not reported incidents of victimization. The People Defender Gabriela Ramírez (in office 2007-2014), who had the institutional duty to role of furthering, defending and overseeing the rights and guarantees established under the Constitution of Venezuela and international human rights treaties, played an important role in the cover-up and justification of the tortures committed against protesters and dissidents.652 In fact, she publicly stated that torture could serve a purpose and could be justified under certain circumstances. In this sense, serving as People Defender, Ramírez said, “[f]or this reason, we should be very cautious while using certain terms. Torture consists of inflicting physical suffering on a person to obtain a confession, and we must differentiate torture from excessive treatment or disproportionate use of force.”653 The following are cases which illustrate the scope and nature of the acts of torture inflected. i) Juan Manuel Carrasco One of the first cases that arose is that of Juan Manuel Carrasco, a 21-year-old carpenter. He was detained along with two friends during the night of 13th February 2014 by the National Guard in Valencia, Carabobo State nearby a protest zone.654 According to Carrasco members of the National Guard beat him up and sexually attacked him while he was at the National Guard’s Urban Security Detachment (Destacamento de Seguridad Urbana). “They got me on my knees and started hitting me with batons. They called me a son of a bitch, and said ‘We're going to kill you’” he said, showing bruises on his torso and describing the actions of what he says were thirty (30) soldiers who then forced him and eleven (11) others to strip on February 13, 2014,” 651 FORO PENAL VENEZOLANO. (2015) Politically motivated detentions, torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and killings (2014-2015) 652 LEPW76. (2014) Gabriela Ramirez expounds upon Torture in Venezuela (English Subtitles). Youtube. [Online] 8 March. Available from: [Accessed 26 October, 2015] 653 ALONSO, J.F. (2014) For the UN, torture is not only aimed at obtaining a confession. El Universal. [Online] 10 March. Available from: un-torture-is-not-only-aimed-at-obtaining-a-confession [Accessed 26 October, 2015] 654 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2014) Venezuela: Human Rights at Risk Amid Protests. “They put us in a fetal position, on our knees and hit us, they just hit us. A guard went out and said that God would not save us even if we prayed and that this was our last day. They pulled my underpants down and stuck something up my behind. And they continued to hit us, hitting us until they were tired out.”

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