(CNN Español) — The vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, said on Wednesday that her government will denounce the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for what she called “persecution” and “extermination” of Venezuelans in Colombia.
“Venezuela will take Iván Duque before the International Criminal Court for the crime of extermination, a persecution contemplated in article 7.1.H of the Rome Statute for the persecution of our migrants, for the murder of our migrants, which has become a systematic policy and massive against our compatriots, “said the government official of the questioned President Nicolás Maduro.
The announcement, made at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, comes days after the murder of two Venezuelans, a 12-year-old boy and an 18-year-old boy, suspected of wanting to rob a business in Tibú, Norte de Santander department. The perpetrators of those deaths have yet to be determined.
“It was a terrible extrajudicial execution,” Rodríguez said. He added that it is “a situation that has impacted, but is reflecting a reality that is the crime of xenophobia, persecution and extermination against Venezuelan migrants.”
The response of the Duque government to the announcement of Venezuela
CNN contacted the Colombian government, which indicated that “there is no official pronouncement on those statements about the complaint that Venezuela will make to the International Criminal Court.”
However, the Duque government issued a statement stating that his country “rejects and denies the recent unfounded statements made by different spokesmen for the Nicolás Maduro dictatorship, in which they denounce an alleged policy of aggression, discrimination and xenophobia towards the Venezuelan migrant population “.
In addition, it accuses Venezuela of “wanting to divert attention” from other events in the country such as the death of former Defense Minister Raúl Baduel, who died on Tuesday while he was detained at “El Helicoide” in Caracas, one of the headquarters. of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin).
Regarding the death of young Venezuelans in Tibú, the Government of Colombia said that it “emphatically condemned this horrible crime” and that it urged “urgently the authorities to intensify the investigations to find those responsible for these events.”
The ICC investigation of Venezuela
The government of the questioned President Nicolás Maduro has been under preliminary examination in the International Criminal Court since February 2018 for alleged crimes against humanity, to determine if it merited a trial.
In December 2020, the Court’s prosecutor’s office said it had found reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity had been committed in the country since at least April 2017. Those alleged crimes included imprisonment and other severe forms of deprivation of liberty, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and persecution of any group or group for political reasons by civil authorities, members of the armed forces and government supporters.
Before the end of her term, last June, then-prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that her office had completed its preliminary examination of the Venezuelan case, but did not make its findings public amid pending litigation with the Maduro government, which asked to the Court that will supervise the work of the prosecutor. That same month, one of the chambers of the Court rejected Venezuela’s request. The case is still pending at the ICC.