This research describes the security situation in Venezuela, which is particularly complex and volatile. It offers an update of the COI Focus of 20 April 2018 and covers the period between April 2018 and March 2019. The research was ended on 12 March 2019.
Since 2014, there is a political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela. The hyperinflation has a serious impact on the possibility to gain access to food, medicines and other basic resources. Venezuela remains one of the most violent countries in the world and is characterized by a massive exodus of its population. From now on, foreign sanctions are aimed at some seventy persons.
Because Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president on 23 January 2019, the opposition enters an accelerated phase in its evolution and the demonstrations follow up each other quickly. Guaidó can count on the support of the United States, the Lima Group (fifteen Latin-American countries plus Canada) and various member states of the European Union. Maduro is supported by Russia and China.
The protagonists of the conflict can be divided in two categories. The army, the police and the intelligence service are part of the institutional actors. According to the OVV, the number of murders attributed to them has risen. Among the extra-institutional actors are colectivos, megabandas, guerrillas and GOAs. According to the OVV, the number of murders attributed to them has decreased.
Impunity following human rights violations is widespread. There are extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, bad prison conditions and persons who are viewed as opponents are discriminated.
Human rights violations are mainly aimed at opponents, demonstrators, bystanders during demonstrations, relatives of persons linked to the protests of January 2019, human rights activists and finally media professionals.
The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.
When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.
There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.