International Criminal Court prosecutor opens investigation into Venezuela

Written by Staff Writer, CNN International Criminal Court prosecutors are conducting an investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity in Venezuela. Faced with an acute humanitarian crisis and political unrest, Washington and many Latin…

International Criminal Court prosecutor opens investigation into Venezuela

Written by Staff Writer, CNN

International Criminal Court prosecutors are conducting an investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity in Venezuela.

Faced with an acute humanitarian crisis and political unrest, Washington and many Latin American governments have branded the Venezuelan government “murderers” and pushed for a new UN Security Council resolution condemning President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in a brief statement Wednesday that her office was “taking on an investigation with regard to serious violations of international humanitarian law and of international human rights law in Venezuela.”

She did not specify the allegations being investigated or what criteria was being used to reach the conclusion that there were enough indications to warrant a full-blown investigation.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at a news conference in her office in The Hague, November 21, 2017. YOUTUBE/RICHARD HUGHTON / REUTERS

The ICC has not executed any warrants for the arrest of prominent Venezuelan officials. Bensouda said that a large number of lawyers and investigators were currently working on the case.

She added that the inquiry was launched at the behest of several different international and national legal actors.

The decision comes amid growing tension over Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s re-election and growing calls by foreign governments for the ICC to investigate the social turmoil in the South American country.

US President Donald Trump warned during a visit to Colombia on Tuesday that there would be “further severe consequences” for the Maduro regime if it continues to face international criticism.

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