ONLINE EVENT: The Venezuelan Judiciary and Crimes Against Humanity: Justice or Impunity?


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This post is also available in: Spanish

Nicolás Maduro’s repressive regime has created an unprecedented humanitarian and human rights crisis in Venezuela, with Venezuelan security forces and armed pro-government groups responsible for grave human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. In September 2019, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed resolution 42/25 to establish an Independent Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, with a mandate to investigate gross human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including sexual and gender-based violence. In their first report, the UN Fact-Finding Mission concluded that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the human rights violations committed by the Venezuelan authorities amounted to crimes against humanity. 

A second report submitted by the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela to the UN Human Rights Council last September focuses on the Venezuelan justice system. The report details issues related to the independence of the Venezuelan justice system and its role in prosecuting perceived government opponents and perpetuating impunity for human rights violations. 

In an effort to inform a wider audience about the report, the Inter-American Dialogue’s Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) are pleased to co-host the three members of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela: Marta Valiñas, a specialist on international criminal justice and chairperson of the Mission, Patricia Tappatá Valdez, a human rights defender specialized in transitional justice and democracy , and Francisco Cox Vial, a human rights and criminal defense lawyer. The speakers will discuss the findings of the Mission’s first two reports, and how the Mission and others in the international community can continue to work towards combating impunity and ensuring justice and accountability in Venezuela.  

Follow the event on Twitter at #JusticeVenezuela and @The_Dialogue 

We invite participants to submit questions using the Q&A function in Zoom or email questions to

Please note that this conversation will be held in English and Spanish. Simultaneous translation in both languages is available for those who join the event online through the RSVP. 

Opening Remarks: 

Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)


Marta Valiñas 

Specialist on international criminal justice and chairperson of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela

Patricia Tappatá Valdez

Human rights defender specialized in transitional justice and democracy (@patriciatappata

Francisco Cox Vial 

Human rights and criminal defense lawyer (@fcoxvial


Carolina Jiménez Sandoval 

President, Washington Office on Latin America (@cjimenezDC



This event is co-hosted with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

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