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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 4 of 190 I.Introduction The Group of Families of Venezuelan Victims hereby request the Prosecutor of the ICC to formally commence a preliminary examination on the alleged crimes committed by high level officials of the Government of Venezuela (GoV) at least in the Metropolitan District of Caracas and the states of Aragua, Táchira, Carabobo, Merida, Lara, Zulia and Miranda since the beginning of February 2014. The crimes happened in the context of a largely peaceful uprising by unarmed civilians which started in early February 2014 prompted by the deteriorating socio-economic crisis in Venezuela. The GoV, including the President Maduro himself and members of his inner circle in high-level government positions, loosely labeled as “fascists” the demonstrators and any other individual perceived as dissidents and made them criminals using the Presidency’s control over the Office of the General Prosecutor and the Judiciary. Reliable and corroborated open sources information available demonstrate how, President Maduro with members of his inner circle constituting the Political High Command of the Bolivarian Revolution, designed a plan to prevent, restrict, punish dissent, organized and participated its implementation by committing crimes against humanity against the civilian population. As part of this plan since February 2014, the President Maduro and members of his inner circle deployed the national security forces and pro government armed paramilitaries under the de facto control of the President which responded to widespread, initially peaceful demonstrations with brutal indiscriminate and disproportionate violence. The national security forces cracked down on the mostly peaceful demonstrators and civilians, the press and the political opposition perceived to be fascists unleashing excessive and indiscriminate force against them including by firing live ammunition directly at peaceful protestors during and in the immediate aftermath the demonstrations resulting in the death of at least between 33 to 36 civilians since February 2014 and the arbitrary arrest of at least 638 individuals who were freed after being detained without even being brought to court as required by law and the imprisonment of between 3,351 and 3,758 people.2 As at 31 May 2015, there were still 77 political prisoners of which 12 students and six women. 2 See the following figures: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. (2015) Venezuela: Balance de derechos humanos tras un año de las protestas. Amnesty International. [ONLINE] 24 March. Available from: [Accessed 19 October, 2015]; and FORO PENAL VENEZOLANO. (2015) Politically motivated detentions, torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and killings (2014-2015). United Nations [ONLINE]. Available from: 20238_E.pdf Please note that while the AI figures relate to the period February 2014 to March 2015, the Foro Penal figures cover the period Ferbuary 2014 to May 2015.

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