July 16, 2022 | Keymer Ávila
A few weeks ago we published our most recent investigation. The FAES does not depend on anyone. Death as a currency , in which we try to reflect on the “FAES” phenomenon as a manifestation of Venezuelan vigilantism , in which objective data and indicators are presented on the deadly legacy of this division that will soon be five years old.
In these lines we will address one of the findings that most caught our attention, which has to do with the place and conditions in which a significant number of deaths occurred as a result of their intervention.
In general, in 58% of the cases analyzed, it was possible to obtain information on the characteristics of the place where these events occurred, in which all security agencies are involved.
Among these cases, the majority occurred in open sites (72.5%). 31.4% of the victims were executed inside their homes . When analyzing the figures that correspond to the FAES, it is found that 38% of the deaths generated by this division are executed inside the houses where the victims were.
When observing the annual behavior of these cases, it can be seen that between 2017 and 2020 this practice has had an incremental logic within the division with tendencies towards its institutionalization.
The year in which activities began, 14.8% of the cases occurred in these circumstances, the following year it increased to 51%, to then stabilize the following two years at 46%.
Percentages higher than that of the police forces in the country as a whole , which have possibly also been influenced by this division, as well as by the institutional promotion and tolerance towards it. As can be seen in the increase in these practices also by other bodies at the national level, without reaching the same level as the FAES (Graph 1).
One must not lose sight of the fact that the data analyzed is barely an underreporting, for this reason it is important to contrast with what is provided by the testimonies of relatives and witnesses of these events, as well as with files, since the police version is the one that predominates in the sources analyzed (81%) and does not coincide with what is collected by various NGOs specialized in these matters.
According to these sources, most cases occur in the home of the deceased. The information available gives sufficient indications to affirm that this type of practice -which is not new in the country- has become more common and intense .
In the period studied, a decrease in the occurrence of cases in open sites is observed: from 74% in 2016 to 47% in 2020; while the cases in closed places increase: 26% in 2016 to 53% in 2020 (Graph 2).
It is also striking how in the period studied there is an increase in general cases (all security forces) that occur inside homes, in 2016 these occupied 17% of the cases, four years later it reached 41%.
More than 60% of the closed places where these deaths took place are homes, this percentage also increases with the passage of time, as can be seen in Graph 3.
Not surprisingly, when analyzing extrajudicial executions in the country, the United Nations Independent Fact-Finding Mission for Venezuela ( 2020 ) stated that the “murders occurred more frequently in the victims’ homes or in the neighborhood” (p. 14).
In this regard, it is also necessary to highlight the constant reports of theft by FAES officials against the belongings of the victims and their families, once the deaths resulting from their intervention materialized.
These acts of institutional looting that were already present in the OLP , and that have also been documented in other works , are presented in the testimonies as a habitual practice of the officials of this group, so much so that even the current Attorney General has denounced it. publicly .
These findings, together with the indicators of abuse of lethal force that we have analyzed in recent years, and the profile of the victims, which are also addressed in the investigation that is the subject of these lines, add up to sufficient evidence that shows that most of these cases are not confrontations .
Much has been debated about the supposed elimination of this division, however, it has diversified towards other spaces such as the DCDO, DIP, DIE, BTI, etc., continuing their policies of extermination, as well as impunity for their cases . The investigation also deals with these and other aspects. The FAES does not depend on anyone. Death as currency , which can be consulted at this link: https://www.academia.edu/77585642/_El_FAES_no_depende_de_nadie_La_muerte_como_divisa.
Publicado originalmente en Provea.