Annual Report: Venezuela 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Venezuela 2010

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  • In January, pro-government activists carrying iron bars, machetes and firearms forced their way into the Fundación Ateneo cultural centre in Caracas. They were protesting at the centre's decision to organize a seminar commemorating the anniversary of the creation of Bandera Roja, a left-wing political party opposed to the government. The police failed to intervene.
  • In September, Julio César Rivas, a student and leader of the United Active Youth of Venezuela, was detained and charged with "organizing armed groups". He remained in a high-security prison for more than two weeks before being released on bail. He had been protesting in Valencia against the new law on education. His trial had not started by the end of the year.
  • In August, Richard Blanco, Prefect of Caracas and President of the opposition Brave People's Alliance was detained together with 11 civil servants. They had been protesting against the new education law which came into effect in August. In October, the 11 civil servants were released pending trial. Despite a reported lack of credible evidence against him, Richard Blanco remained in prison at the end of the year awaiting trial on charges of inciting violence resulting in injury to a police officer.

Violence against women and girls

Progress in the investigation and prosecution of cases of domestic violence remained slow. More courts and prosecutors' offices specializing in dealing with gender-based violence were established. However, the numbers remained insufficient to deal with the high volume of cases. The Public Prosecutor's Office in Caracas stated that it had received more than 12,000 complaints between January and August and that only half of those received could be dealt with.