The Argentine judiciary will investigate “crimes against humanity” in Venezuela

The The Argentine judiciary ordered the reopening of an investigation into crimes against humanity allegedly committed in VenezuelaCourt documents showed he invoked universal jurisdiction.

“It is appropriate to assume the universal and extraterritorial jurisdiction of the Argentine judicial authorities to judge “systematic and widespread conduct related to crimes against humanity,” said three judges of the Federal Chamber of Buenos Aires in a text reproduced by the press .

In July 2023, prosecutor Carlos Stornelli filed a complaint from actor George Clooney’s foundation over events during opposition protests in Venezuela in 2014, when the government allowed security forces to “use violence against civilians,” the ruling said.

The defendants are President Nicolás Maduro, Chavismo’s number two Diosdado Cabello, “and all those who have been identified as responsible (…) for the serious human rights violations and crimes against humanity.”

The unidentified plaintiffs suffered “the persecution and murder of their relatives in a public context with repercussions beyond territorial borders,” the text says.

An Argentine judge had ordered the archiving of other cases because the International Criminal Court (ICC) had been investigating similar complaints against Maduro since 2018 and referred them to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

However, the victims appealed this decision, arguing that the ICC investigation does not prevent another country from opening an investigation and that it is unknown whether The Hague is investigating the same cases contained in the Argentine complaint.

Given the “extreme seriousness” of the matter, “it is necessary to revoke the decision” to archive the file, wrote judges Leopoldo Bruglia and Pablo Bertuzzi.

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Judge Mariano Llorens also referred to the “Rome Statute” ratified by Argentina, which establishes the principles of universal jurisdiction for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“Let us remember that Argentina is recognized worldwide for its work in these trials,” he said, referring to the trials of the oppressors of the dictatorship (1976-1983).


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