Is the referral of Venezuela to the ICC a move towards justice, or a demonstration of growing political tensions in the region? Such are the questions the ICC Prosecutor must face when deciding whether or not to open a formal investigation.
Perhaps it’s time to state firmly, and insistently, that we see everyone who let themselves be swooped up in machines of inhumanity, and not just the masterminds. And perhaps it’s not too late to call out enough of the small bureaucrats and agents so that they, too, squirm, question and upend the pact of purposeful obtuseness that is required to carry on with systems of oppression designed to harm from a safe distance.
Understanding a population’s legal needs is critical in order for states to know how to manage and resolve those needs in a broader access to justice framework. Approaching legal disputes from the perspective of citizen demands allows the state to more adequately grasp the gaps for particular population groups and design and implement public policies that properly address the the legal needs of societies.
Juan Pedro Lares, a 24-year old Colombian-Venezuelan young man, who was abducted by a hundred civilian-dressed members of the Venezuelan Intelligence, the National Guard, the police, and armed civilian groups from his family’s home in July of last year was finally set free. But a feeling of injustice still lingers.
Certainly one does not need to be a human rights activist to be able to shake someone’s hand. But it’s only a truly caring and grounded advocate who can write a set of policy recommendations and at the same time keep giving hope to the people s/he works with to make sure that all this does not become pointless in the end.
Although there are no exact figures on the magnitude of the Venezuelan exodus and much less on its demographic characteristics, studies estimate that during this year, about 15% of the population will have left the country. How is Colombia securing the rights to education of the boys and girls who have arrived?
At a time when the human rights movement is facing great challenges, and at a moment when there is a widespread recognition that the human rights movement must be more interdisciplinary, and locally connected, human rights advocates should be more purposeful in integrating art, in addition to social sciences, into our practice.