The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, expressed his complete support for the decision of the Presidents of Argentina, Mauricio Macri; of Chile, Sebastián Piñera; of Colombia, Iván Duque; of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez; of Peru, Martín Vizcarra; and of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to refer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) the investigation into the existence of crimes against humanity in Venezuela.
“The leaders of these six countries have taken an historic step today unprecedented in the history of the Americas, creating a crucial milestone in the interests of justice, accountability, non-repetition and reparation to the victims of the Venezuelan dictatorship,” said the Secretary General.
“Political events like that of today honor the memory of the murdered and restore the hope of justice for the tortured, the political prisoners and their families, the forcibly exiled and all the Venezuelans who suffer, who go hungry, who are forced to search for food in the garbage, who lack access to medicine,” he said.
“At this moment we must thank the governments of the six countries for the initiative to endorse the report of the panel of jurists constituted by the OAS General Secretariat in September 2017,” he added.
Secretary General Luis Almagro also extended his recognition to Luis Moreno Ocampo for the design and launch of the public hearings, as well as the members of the panel of experts Santiago Cantón, Irwin Cotler and Manuel Ventura, for their hard work in documentation of these crimes, collecting testimonies from victims and their loved ones and systematizing the information.
“At this moment, more than ever, our thoughts are with the victims, with their relatives and friends,” said Secretary General Almagro, “it is for them and for the hard-working Venezuelan people that we will continue to redouble our efforts, together with the member states of the OAS, to achieve a hemisphere of peace, democracy and full respect for human rights.”