We all have heard and got to know many things about Venezuela lately. But women’s human rights violations are one of the most painful and sad.

Over the last few years, a lot has been happening in Venezuela. It is a country that has been all over the news. The worst part is that none of the news and information we have heard or read is actually great. And as a Venezuelan woman, I feel that it is my responsibility to share these stories. First, because we need justice. But also because I want to do my part to help ensure Venezuela’s situation never repeats in humanity.

In my last article, The Horror Story of Being an Immigrant Woman, I shared the horrible situations Venezuelan women have faced outside their country. But there is so much more to share about women’s suffering inside the country. So I partnered with Venezuela’s National Observatory of Human Rights in this opportunity. They allowed me to take their latest report about Women’s Human Rights Violations, as a base to share the situation.

Venezuela’s current status

 Human Rights and Venezuela's Current Status
Human Rights and Venezuela’s Current Status. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas on canva.com.

Venezuela’s current government has been in power over the last 20 years. It is worldwide and within the country recognized as a dictatorship and a regime. It is a government that doesn’t like opinions that differ from them. A government that likes to have entire control and manipulation of the population. That is the main reason the country currently experiences the biggest humanitarian crisis.

To understand Venezuela’s current status on human rights, it is important to base on freedom of speech and democracy. Because that is the basis of this horrible situation. For the dictatorship, anyone who speaks in favor of democracy, or shares the situation lived for the population, is an enemy. Additionally, when it comes to enemies, this cruel communist dictatorship takes very serious punishments and reprisals. Even when those “enemies” are citizens, and most of them have done nothing besides raising their voices.

Over the past years, Venezuela’s government has been in the public eye for numerous human rights violations. The army forces committed most of those violations under government orders. Moreover, the dictatorship has made really famous and common a very particular figure, the political prisoners. Thousands of Venezuelans have been prisoners of conscience in the government, jailed, silenced, and mistreated by the state.

That is the reason for Venezuela’s National Observatory of Human Rights’ existence. Because the cruelest human rights violations are against the dictatorship’s political prisoners.

Venezuela’s National Observatory of Human Rights

Venezuela's National Observatory of Human Rights Official Logo
Venezuela’s National Observatory of Human Rights Official Logo.

Venezuela’s National Observatory of Human Rights is a national platform. They focus on the defense of political and civil human rights. It is a non-profit organization that monitors, documents, and analyzes cases of human rights violations. They also provide support and share the stories of political prisoners.

According to their data, between 2004 and 2017, there were over 12 thousand people illegally arrested. Until March 31, 2021, the Observatory reports there are over 334 political prisoners in the country. They denounce the human rights violations and tortures people receive. The Observatory is the voice of the victims and their families. But it is also a documentary organization. Thanks to them, we now have records of this horrible situation. This means, in the future, victims and their families can finally receive justice for their cases.

In its latest report, the Observatory focuses on women’s human rights violations. They give a complete social and statistic report for about 19 women. All of them, current political prisoners of the government. The report results from hard documentation and support work. They made the report to share the stories of these women, victims of human rights violations.

Official data of women and statistic analysis

Women Political Prisoners, Victims of Human Rights Violations in Venezuela. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas
Women Political Prisoners, Victims of Human Rights Violations in Venezuela. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

According to the report, among those 334 Venezuelan political prisoners, 5.7% are women. And these 19 women have been victims of systematic violations of their human rights and recipients of inhuman treatments. Also, among these 19 women, there are 12 civilians and 7 militaries, and most of them are in prisons for men.

The Observatory also alerts that 6 of those women have children and were abruptly separated from them. Most of them report they can’t have visits from relatives and defenders. Also, the Observatory found that 5 of them are there for being relatives of political prisoners or persecuted. Moreover, all of them report they don’t receive food and that they do not have supplies for menstrual periods.

Victims of inhuman treatments

Official Report of Women Political Prisoners in Venezuela by the Venezuela's Observatory of Human Rights
Official Report of Women Political Prisoners in Venezuela by the Venezuela’s Observatory of Human Rights.

One of the most painful data shared in the report is the fact that 84% of these 19 women report being victims of torture and inhuman treatments. Also, most of them report suffering serious damage to their physical health, because of the horrible conditions they live in. They also report that they are not allowed to receive medical attention. Most of them have been victims of forced disappearance or kidnapping, and they have also been isolated.

The report shares that these 19 political prisoners have been of violations of the judicial process. Most of the women haven’t got a fair process, not even a correct defense. Also, the organization alerts that these 19 women are just a reflection of many more. According to the Observatory’s investigation, there have been and are many more. But most victims are afraid to share their stories because the government will retaliate against them.

Raising our voices for those who can’t

Official image from the Venezuela's Observatory of Human Rights' report.
Official image from the Venezuela’s Observatory of Human Rights’ report.

As a Venezuelan woman, I feel the fear and the pain all these 19 women feel. Their stories must be shared, and everyone can find them in the official report, published on the Observatory’s official webpage. It is really painful to find out that, in my country, violence against women comes from the hands of the state.

All my respect and support go to these and all the women in Venezuela that have been victims of human rights violations. I want to take this opportunity to demand respect and human treatment for these 19 women. I raise my voice to demand better conditions, compensations for their damages, and to ask for their dignity to be restored. And I ask for them to be respected, protected, and treated as women.

Read also:
Femicide In Quarantine Times: An Ecuadorian Reality
Australia’s Forced Sterilization Of Disabled Underage Girls
Human Trafficking: The Slave Trade Putting The Most Vulnerable At Risk