CHE scaleCivil SocietyHuman rightsLife conditions

Annual Report | PROVEA: Situation of Human Rights in Venezuela | January – December 2022

PROVEA | Caracas | May 9, 2023

Inequality and Impunity: the pandemic in Venezuela

Provea presented this May 9, the 34th edition of its Annual Report on the situation of Human Rights in Venezuela corresponding to the period January-December 2022. This report records the main advances, setbacks, obstacles and threats to the realization of 14 human rights in our country.

Post-pandemic Venezuela: poorer and more unequal

Inequality and exclusion are two conditions that have aggravated the poverty situation in Venezuela. In its country report, published in January 2023, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) reported that, despite the fact that some economic improvements had helped curb hyperinflation, the food security situation in Venezuela remained “worrying.” ”. More than five million people were in need of humanitarian assistance, while the country imported more than 70% of the processed food it consumed, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices. As a consequence, the report indicates that by August 2022 food prices increased by 30%. As of the date the report was issued,

In the last eight years, the country has suffered a cumulative drop of 80% in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), one of the largest contractions recorded in recent decades worldwide, and which has caused severe damage to productive capacity.

In addition, according to the National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI 2022), ” Venezuela is the most unequal country in the Americas, with an indicator of 56.7″, of the GINI coefficient, an indicator that measures inequality, based on the distribution of wealth. of the countries.

The widespread collapse of public services and high prices; They have created the propitious conditions for an exponential and general increase in poverty in Venezuela.

In ten years at the helm of the country, Nicolás Maduro extinguished the rule of law, pulverizing social conquests and eclipsing civil and political rights, under the shadow of authoritarianism.

Main findings

In terms of economic, social and cultural rights, the Annual Report highlights that the administration of Nicolás Maduro continued, during 2022, his deliberate policy of making the income of workers, pensioners and retirees precarious, by turning his back on his obligation to guarantee wages and pensions adjusted to the cost of the food basket, as ordered by article 91 of the National Constitution.

In addition to this, with the imposition of the ONAPRE Instructions ; It ended with the interscales of the salary tabulator guaranteed in the collective agreements of the public sector, which fueled the conflict in the country, carried out mainly throughout the year by workers, retirees and pensioners.

In response to the wave of protests, the Maduro administration resorted to persecution and acts of harassment against union leaders. Six workers remain detained for demanding their rights and at least 344 were victims of acts of threats and harassment by security agents and senior officials of companies and State institutions. During the ten years of Nicolás Maduro’s administration, 87 union leaders have been arrested and prosecuted for exercising their rights and 3,512 workers have been victims of threats and harassment.

One aspect that demonstrates the severe setback in terms of social rights is the definitive implosion of the Great Housing Mission Venezuela (GMVV). Between January and December 2022, Provea recorded, based on its independent monitoring, that the government delivered a total of 3,122 new homes , a figure that is in stark contrast to the 500,000 homes that, according to the government, would have been delivered within the framework of the GMVV.

According to our records, in ten years Maduro built and delivered just 130,856 homes through the formerly flagship social policy of the Bolivarian project, while its officials insist on saying that they have built and awarded 3,096,257 houses .

Regarding the right to health, 2022 marked a decade of the accelerated institutional, financial and operational decline of the public health system and its severe impact on the quality of life of people in the midst of the Complex Humanitarian Emergency. Product of the continuous collapse, in 2022 there was a 34.7% increase in the number of complaints for violations of the right to health. Between 2013 and 2022, the numbers of complaints for these situations amount to 305,397.

A well-coordinated structure for social control, exclusion and repression of dissent persists

In 2022, the state practice – which has been configured as systematic – of discrimination and exclusion for political reasons was maintained. The National Assembly –elected in 2020 and with an official majority- continued to approve regulations and endorse the actions of the Executive, acting with its back to the National Constitution.

Within the chamber, the legal architecture that would give legal support to the so-called communal State is discussed , a political-territorial structure different from that expressed in article 16 of the Magna Carta.

Parallel to the construction of the Communal State, the National Assembly considered other regressive legal regulations in the area of ​​human rights.

In May 2022 it became known that the draft Law on International Cooperation had once again been included on the parliamentary agenda and, in January 2023, another initiative equally harmful to the right to freedom of association and assembly, the draft Law on Inspection, Regularization, Action and Financing of Non-Governmental and Related Organizations, was approved in the first discussion.

As in previous years, during 2022 there was a high number of unlawful deprivations of the right to life by Venezuelan police and military officials.

These actions, sponsored by institutional encouragement and structural impunity, could constitute crimes against humanity for murder and, in this sense, have motivated the investigation carried out by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Venezuela.

In 2022, 824 alleged violations of the right to life were registered , occurring in different circumstances. Although this means a decrease from those registered in 2021, this high number of deaths reflects the continuity of a State policy that generates massive and systematic violations of the right to life.

During 10 years of Maduro’s administration, 9,465 people have been killed by police and military.

Finally, there was a 68.6% increase in the number of violations of personal integrity with a total of 2,203 victims , mostly people deprived of liberty who were subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and/or punishment.  

To download the report in Spanish, please click here.