No health or access to justice for persons deprived of liberty during the pandemic in Venezuela

Carlos Lusverti* and Carolina Villadiego Burbano**

Versión en español aquí.

On 13 March 2020, the Venezuelan authorities declared a state of emergency to preserve and protect the public health and for mitigate and eradicate the risk related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A mandatory lockdown and the suspension of non-essential activities was ordered. The negative impact on persons deprived of liberty was enormous. There was suspension of visits from family members and lawyers into detention centers. In addition, the Supreme Court of Justice on 15th March ordered the closure of courts in most matters, except urgent criminal matters. 

Overcrowding and limitation of visits: prisons and detention facilities reality in the midst of COVID-19 

With no public information or statistics about persons deprived of liberty in Venezuela, the data of Venezuelan civil society organizations, such as those of the Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones (Venezuelan Prison’s Watch), stress that there is an estimated average of 171.83% overcrowding in prisons.

Seguir leyendo

Venezuela: The pandemic at the end of the world

José C. Ugaz SM*

How grand corruption and its functional kleptocracy destroyed a nation, condemning millions of Venezuelans to misfortune, a country which went from Bolivar’s dream to a never-ending nightmare. 

Grand corruption is like the coronavirus. Just as the coronavirus enters organisms silently and does not become visible until it has already taken hold of them, corruption undermines the structures of the State and its institutions in a subterranean manner until it is too late to prevent it. Like the virus, corruption does not distinguish between gender, age or social class, although it undoubtedly has the worst effects on the most vulnerable, for whom it is often fatal. And as we are seeing with COVID-19, corruption also deepens poverty and destroys the economy. Like the microorganism, it is easily contagious, spreads without limits, and has no cure. Only its terminal effects can be controlled with specific vaccines. Furthermore, it is not static. Corruption transforms itself like a new strain of COVID-19 resistant to antibodies which makes it very difficult to eradicate.

Seguir leyendo

General Elections in Peru 2021: The pandemic has won

David Lovatón Palacios*

Spanish version here.

On April 11, the general elections took place in Peru to elect the new President and Congress for the period 2021-2026, with an absolutely unpredictable and discouraging result from a democratic perspective. The following is a brief analysis of what the two presidential candidates who have made it to the second round of elections represent and the very difficult scenarios that may arise in the next five years for Peru.

Seguir leyendo