Venezuela Referred to the International Criminal Court

Yesterday, at the UN, Canada and other like-minded Latin American allies (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru) participated in a signing ceremony to jointly refer the commission of crimes against humanity in Venezuela to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation. This historic referral – based on a recent report published by the Organization of American States with the help of three international legal experts, including RWCHR Chair Irwin Cotler – marks the first time that state parties to the ICC referred another state party for investigation.  

Protestors holding anti-Maduro signs in Caracas, Venezuela.

Protestors holding anti-Maduro signs in Caracas, Venezuela.

Why is it important?

This historic step marks a crucial milestone in the pursuit of justice, accountability, and reparations. In making this referral, we honour the memory of the murdered and restore the hope of justice for the tortured, the disappeared, the imprisoned, the hungry, and the sick.

We are also sending a signal to the Maduro regime – a regime of mass domestic repression which has forced 1.6 million Venezuelans to flee their country – and the world over: Canada and other democracies will no longer stand idle to atrocity; we will quash the cultures of impunity that underpin the horrific atrocity crimes we have witnessed in Venezuela and elsewhere.  

Selected media coverage

For a statement form Global Affairs Canada: click here

For a New York Times article: click here