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Extrajudicial executions in Venezuela characterize families with lethality

Caracas, September 16 (EFE). – Five years have passed, and in Anna’s house it seems that time has not passed. In the corridor, the sign of the shooting by a police officer who diverted his son, one night in 2017, in one of 14,220 alleged extrajudicial executions carried out in Venezuela from 2012 to July of this year, according to the NGO Cofavic, remains intact. . Since then, Anna – the fictitious name of this mother who prefers to remain anonymous – has had to “live sadly”. Every Thursday night, she relives the moment when police officers broke into her home, in a Caracas neighborhood, and forced her to go up to the second floor of the house to stay alone with her 23-year-old son, whom they tortured. And she was killed, while she and her family listened to everything, according to her account. “I’m not too afraid for myself, but I’m afraid for my brothers (…) Those who live in the neighborhood consider us all criminals. But no, here in the neighborhoods professional people and good people also rise up,” reminds Efe of this woman who fears for her country. Now, his days pass between his work as a casual merchant, helping his three grandchildren left by his son, his constant visits to the courts or the prosecutor’s office to insist on an investigation into his relative’s death, and the occasional meetings in which he receives the hugs of other women who live the same. Supporting Healing In Caracas alone, Victims Monitor, another organization that records homicides, has counted 1,013 police killings since 2017, a number believed to be an underestimate, with many of these incidents being reported as confrontations or resistance to authority. “It’s not just about the number, not just the number of people killed, but also the family that’s left behind,” explained Sofia Cardona, a psychologist and part of the “Voces Visibles” program of which Anna is a part. . With which the NGO Mi Convive began providing psychosocial support and training to relatives of victims of “police lethality”. The specialist said the idea was to support people “who are still here and who continue to fight” after losing their relatives. In Venezuela, alleged human rights violations are under investigation by the United Nations International Mission, which confirmed that police forces committed more than 200 killings from September 2020 until the submission of its second report, in March 2020. 2021. In this context, Amnesty International warned of the continued The “policy of repression” that Nicolás Maduro’s government is implementing in the country, and according to its 2021 report, new cases of extrajudicial executions, excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests, torture and other cruel treatment. treatment or treatment. Giving support to victims’ families is a priority, explained Efe Isabel Salaverria, one of the leaders of this initial escort program that already operates in at least eight parishes in Caracas and serves an average of 25 women of their sons and fathers. Or their husbands were killed by state security forces. “They are people who find themselves not only traumatized, but also with no support network, a space they can talk about freely, where there is a discourse of respect for life,” Salaveria noted, adding that this is what they are trying to deliver in their programme. For this reason, at their own pace and by their own means, these relatives join and strengthen activities that allow them to find mechanisms to cope with the fear of the circumstances of these losses. With them, Anna tries to weave the support she needs to heal, but she does so without forgetting that reparation and justice are part of the process. “This is unforgettable. It hurts more than having a baby, and losing a baby hurts me more than having a baby and that’s what happened to me,” she said as she tried to explain her grief. She painfully asserts that her son “was in bad strides”, but remembers that there is no death penalty in Venezuela and that her son, like others, deserves to be tried in court. He stressed that “here there is no death sentence, they first had to try him and decide whether he was guilty or not, and not take such a strict decision.” (c) EFE . Agency

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