Venezuela's Attorney General to Investigate Police Abuses

The FAES special forces practices have been repeatedly denounced in recent months.

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The Bolivarian Police Special Action Forces, FAES was created in 2016 (El Nacional)
The Bolivarian Police Special Action Forces, FAES was created in 2016 (El Nacional)
By Manuela Solé
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Merida, November 19, 2020 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Attorney General Tarek William Saab has ordered the detention of six special forces officers.

The six men belong to the Bolivarian Police Special Action Forces (FAES) in Zulia State, where they allegedly tried to kidnap a local farmer.

Saab informed on his Twitter account that the men will be charged for cruel treatment, unlawful detention, trespassing and abuse of authority.

The Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating several cases pertaining to irregular procedures from FAES officers, Saab said in an interview on Monday.

“They take people out of their cars, if there’s money they steal it, this is something serious—we have received reports of kidnappings,” he stated. “Not only kidnappings by criminal gangs, but also promoted by police officers.”

With complaints against the police body growing, Saab called on all police to respect human rights in the country and claimed offenders would meet "the full weight of the law."

A recent case had four FAES agents, also in Zulia State, arrested for the extrajudicial killing of two workers of local community station Guacamaya Tv while four other agents fled.

Earlier this year, homicide charges were issued against four special forces officers for the alleged killing of five men, including a bodyguard of Prisons Minister Iris Varela, in the barrio of El Limon in Caracas.

Additionally, last year a report released by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) accused the FAES and forensic police body CICPC of being responsible for “numerous extrajudicial executions,” and other practices meant to “instil fear and maintain social control.” The report recommended dissolving the special police force.

While Venezuelan authorities rejected the OHCHR report as “biased,” Saab recently declared it was time for a restructuring of various police organisations, including the Bolivarian National Police and the FAES.

The attorney general and Ombudsman Alfredo Ruiz visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) earlier this month, where they met with Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and ratified the commitment of the Venezuelan state and its institutions to "investigate, prosecute, charge and convict those responsible for human rights violations".

Edited by Ricardo Vaz from Mérida.

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