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South American to request ICC to investigate Venezuela over alleged violations on September 25

Reports citing official sources indicate that the Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru will sign a document asking the International Court of Justice (ICC) to initiate preliminary investigations over perceived human rights violations in Venezuela. According to Peru’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Canada could potentially endorse the petition. It will reportedly include two reports filed by the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS) supposedly listing extrajudicial executions and detentions in Venezuela. Upon delivery, the Prosecutor Office of the ICC, which is already gathering information concerning alleged abuses committed by the Venezuelan government, would have to determine whether to initiate formal inquiries.

Although international pressure against the Venezuelan government has consistently grown over the past years, most South American governments have thus far not been able to translate their concerns into common policy. While this development is partly a result of shared right-leaning outlooks among governments, especially amid the ongoing migrant crisis in the region, most South American countries have until recently remained ambivalent towards supporting sanctions against President Nicolás Maduro and his entourage. In this sense, even though Uruguay and Brazil are not reportedly slated to adhere to the document, this move could potentially accelerate the ICC’s inquiries and eventually trigger a wider international reaction, possibly giving credence to influential voices calling for a military solution in the country. In any event, the state of affairs in the country will not change in the short-term following deliberations at the ICC.

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