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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 71 of 190 alleged to personally call judges to give them instructions on cases while the Vice- President is alleged to have held weekly meeting with the judges.278 The Presidency has also been publicly denounced for establishing and rigorously maintaining a long standing order not to release political prisoners. 279 The control of the Presidency does not stop at the Judiciary. “The problem of temporary status also affects prosecutors in Venezuela, in that all the prosecutors of the General Prosecutor’s Office [Office of Public Prosecutions] are freely appointed and removable.” 280 In 2008 alone, 638 prosecutors were appointed without public competition being held and without there being given regular status,281 consequently making them subject to removal by the General Prosecutor.. The IACHR has found that “Venezuelan justice is marked by a pattern of procedural delays that affects, in particular, cases in which the executive branch has no special interest. In contrast, cases involving executive interests or persons allied with the government are resolved with the utmost dispatch. According to the information received, this situation affects the judiciary at all levels, including the Supreme Tribunal of Justice and the Office [of Public Prosecutions].”282 The IACHR has particularly raised concerns over the lack of independence which resulted in the allocation of cases for prosecution where matters are “cherry-picked” by prosecutors. Despite there being more than 1,000 prosecutors at the national level, the IACHR has concluded that “all investigations related to the interests of the ruling party and the executive branch are handled by a small group of prosecutors. It is further claimed that several of these prosecutors have been challenged by the accused in various cases, but that the General Prosecutor has not upheld any of those challenges.”283 Several sources, including former judges, have publicly denounced the existence of informal judicial networks where “General Prosecutors (…) led by high ranking public officials, including a former vice-President and a handful of Supreme Tribunal of Justice [Accessed 27 August 2015] paras. 159- 177. 278 ECONOMIST. (2012) Whistle-blown. The Economist. [Online] 26 April. Available from: [Accessed 27 August, 2015]; TELEVEN. (2012) Aponte Aponte: Chávez ordenó condenar a comisarios del 11-A. Televen. [Online] 14 September. Available from: [Accessed 12 September, 2015] ; HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION. (2012) Report on the State of the Independence of the Judiciary in Venezuela. 279 ECONOMIST. (2012) Whistle-blown 280 IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela 281 IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela 282 IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela. para. 307 283 h IACHR. (2009) Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela. para. 308

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