Written by Staff Writer, Sam Harris.
The International Criminal Court is looking into a new claim of crimes against humanity in Venezuela as President Nicolás Maduro continues to hold onto power.
The ICC said it “takes note” of reports from Venezuela’s opposition that “police and paramilitary forces have engaged in acts of collective punishment including the exiling of around 10,000 people and the detention of 100,000,” an ICC spokesperson told CNN in an emailed statement.
“Venezuela’s armed forces are currently staging an intervention on civilians’ lives, just like those of Libyan cities,” the complaint to the ICC, filed by the Democratic Unity Roundtable — a coalition of 17 opposition parties and one independent group — said.
Maduro was re-elected in 2018 with more than 89% of the vote. He maintains that the presidency is constitutionally mandated and that international courts have no jurisdiction over the South American country.
This isn’t the first time ICC jurisdiction over Venezuela has been speculated. In December, Maduro was charged with war crimes by the US, after alleging that an arms shipment sent from the United States intended for his armed forces was the culprit behind a deadly incident in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
A video emerged showing a member of the Venezuelan military firing a weapon into the air after clashing with Venezuelan protesters.
Maduro said the armed forces were answering an order from the state prosecutor against the armed forces.
CNN reached out to Maduro’s office for comment.