Venezuela: terrible torture to government opponents confirmed by UN
According to the latest UN report, screams often spread through the corridors of the Helicoide, the headquarters of the Venezuelan secret services, writes the Washington Post.
Inside the massive spiral-shaped building in central Caracas, they found that detainees, often journalists, activists or government opponents, are routinely subjected to rape, electric shocks, mutilation, asphyxiation and other types of torture. Orders for abuse usually come from the highest level of government: the president and his inner circle, according to the new UN report.
The report released in Geneva is the third published by the United Nations Inquiry Mission on Venezuela since 2019, when the UN headquarters began assessing human rights violations in the country. This is the crudest report, and the evidence in the report points to Maduro, his closest allies and two of the state's military and civilian intelligence services: the Directorate-General for Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM) and the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), responsible. In the Helicoide, where the SEBIN operates, the UN report states the substantial orders came mainly from President Maduro while Diosdado Cabello, former vice president of the country and member of the National Assembly, provided the list of targets to be held, especially civilians, high-profile critics and members of the opposition.
According to the report, the government then monitors these targets before placing false evidence on them, arresting them without a warrant or kidnapping them. Torture ranges from death threats against their families to force-feeding with feces and vomit. Some are placed on "la señorita", a device that lifts and deforms bodies before immersing them in a tub of water. Others are kept naked in a room with freezing temperatures, under bright lights and in isolation, an abuse that distorts the senses. The detainees were often subjected to sexual violence. The same modus operandi in Boleíta, which houses the cells and administrative offices of the DGCIM and where the officers are detained, some of whom are accused of plotting against Maduro or of not having shown sufficient support for the regime. In Boleíta, DGCIM officials created a game with a long stick in which the detainees fell backwards on the stick to see if it entered their anus, reports the UN report.
In addition, the detainees are forced to conduct torture sessions on other detainees. The guards ask to hit other inmates on the head, after forcing them to jump up and down and then kneel, while they are naked. The report also describes the abuses in the Arco Minero dell’Orinoco, a strip of gold mining land in southern Venezuela. As a result, nearly 7 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015. Last week, Maduro said Petro asked him to act as a guarantor in the peace talks that will begin at the end of the year between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army, the largest left-wing guerrilla group in the country. The question to ask Petro is: can a person accused of such crimes against humanity be the guarantor in a peace treaty?