Venezuela: Amnesty Law Must Tell Pardonable Crimes

Venezuelan backers of the Amnesty Law shall clarify which crimes the law will seek to pardon, a local criminology and human right expert said Wednesday.


Venezuela’s Supreme Court Monday said in a ruling published on its website that the law touted by the opposition majority in the National Assembly was unconstitutional.

Venezuela flag
Venezuela flag

Opposition lawmakers wished to free political prisoners once the controversial law is passed, which was slammed by President Nicolas Maduro for trying to get criminals out of jail.

Criminologist Keymer Avila told Xinhua said that it is crucial to form a commission to analyze whether the crime is committed for political reasons and how its victim could be compensated, before applying the Amnesty Law to the prisoners.

“These processes must happen before the Amnesty Law is passed as they will help to reveal the truth, assign blame, and establish reconciliation, pardoning and retribution,” Avila said.

Avila also said that the commission should be diverse and consist of “highly credible actors that the society believes are capable of reaching a consensus.”

Under the current circumstances, however, “the Amnesty Law, if forced through the National Assembly by the opposition, is destined to fail and split the public,” noted Avila.

The expert also highlighted the recently inaugurated Truth, Justice and Victims Reparation Commission, saying that the move shows the government’s effort to reach a consensus with the opposition. The commission was launched on April 12 in Caracas by Maduro and Ernesto Samper, executive secretary of the Union of South American Nations,

However, the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) has rejected any kind of collaboration with the government in this respect, since the commission will only look at the political crimes that happened between 1999 and 2015, when Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez were in power.

Avila warned that the commission can not work if the government fails to secure the participation of the opposition.

Source: Xinhua

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