According to a UN statement that was widely reported by the media today, it is “unclear” if opposition rioters in Venezuela have killed a single person over the past four months. The OHCHR press release said it had “remote” investigators study the situation in Venezuela. The following is the key quote from the press release:
According to the UN Human Rights team’s analysis, security forces are allegedly responsible for at least 46 of those deaths, while pro-Government armed groups, referred to as “armed colectivos” are reportedly responsible for 27 of the deaths. It is unclear who the perpetrators in the remaining deaths may be.[my emphasis]
This statement destroys the credibility of the OHCHR’s “remote” investigation. It is such an extreme remark that only one counterexample is required to completely refute it.
The best counterexample to use is the murder of Orlando Figuera. Reuters, like all the international corporate media, is quite biased against the Maduro government and its supporters (who are called “chavsitas” after the late President Hugo Chavez), but it could not deny that opposition protesters murdered Figuera. Here and here are Reuters articles that reported Figuera’s murder. He was stabbed and then burned alive. The only thing Reuters disputed was whether Figuera, who was black, was murdered by the protesters for being a suspected thief or for being a suspected chavista. From his hospital bed shortly before he died, Figuera said he was attacked for being a suspected chavista. Did the UN’s “remote” investigators not have access to the Reuters website?
The staff writers at VenezuelAnalysis.com have about a thousand times more justification to claim independence than any UN body. Here is their tally of the protest related deaths. A summary of their latest figures (as of August 8) are below
Deaths caused by authorities: 14
Direct victims of opposition political violence: 23
Deaths indirectly linked to opposition barricades*: 8
Accidental deaths: 3
People killed in lootings**: 14
Deaths attributed to pro-gov’t civilians: 3
Deaths still unaccounted for / disputed: 61
This ridiculous statement by the UN shouldn’t surprise us when we consider the UN’s monstrous track record in both Iraq and Haiti. The UN is large and diverse body, so it can sometimes push back a bit against the US government but in general it can be relied on to collaborate with major crimes, even if not quite as often and enthusiastically as far right neocons and fanatical “supporters of Israel” would like.