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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 92 of 190 (3)De Jure control of the Presidency over the Penitentiaries and other detention centres One of the 29 Ministries of Venezuela under direct control of the President is the Ministry of Prisons and Penological Services. The Ministry, currently presided by Iris Varela, a member of the National Committee of the ruling PSUV party, is responsible for planning and executing prison policies, as well as administering as well as administering all the prisons of the country. It exercises authority over the Prisons Service. The Ministry was created under Chávez’s presidency370 by a decree establishing that its most relevant of these responsibilities include to “[d]esign, develop and evaluate policies, strategies, plans and programs […] to ensure the full enjoyment and exercise of human rights of the accused and prosecuted, punished and sanctioned to rehabilitate them and improve their chances of reintegration into society.” It also “[regulates] the organization and operation of the prison system and enforcement of sentences of imprisonment, in accordance with the rules, principles and values enshrined in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and international treaties and conventions on the matters, signed and ratified by the Republic.” As such the Presidency has a direct say over the policies adopted as well as their implementation within the penitentiary system across the Venezuelan territory. There are two other types of detention centres, which are not formally prisons and are therefore outside of the competence of the Ministry of Prisons and Penological Services. These are the SEBIN headquarters and the Military Prison of Ramo Verde. The SEBIN headquarters is run by the SEBIN and the Military Prison of Ramo Verde is under responsibility of the Venezuelan Army. Since both the SEBIN and the 370 See: Decree No. 8,266. July 26, 2011 President Minister of Defence General Directorate of Military Counter- Intelligence (DGCM) Minister of Interior, Justice&Peace Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN)

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