Si un chico infringe la ley

trátese con dignidad

se respetará su vida

Hay una legalidad

Convención para Cantar. Luisa Pernalete. 2020

Articles 37 and 40 of the Convention establish that children and adolescents have the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of freedom and to always receive a dignified treatment even if they might have broken criminal laws.

Between May and September, 2020, there were reports of 86 adolescents in conflict with criminal laws (87% of them were male.) A third of the processed cases are related to police excesses during the quarantine, where the victims were detained for “failing to fulfill sanitary control rules.”

One adolescent was executed for allegedly having been involved in a robbery and in another case a family accused the police for the death of an adolescent taken from their community. Two cases in this period deal with adolescents arrested for political reasons. These incidents violate the basic guarantees of a juvenile justice in accordance to the Rule of Law.

On the other hand, 30% of reports deal with adolescents involved in very serious crimes such as homicide. From this group, 15 adolescents were identified as the authors of homicides whose victims were unknown (in a third of these cases, the original reason was a robbery); meanwhile, other 10 adolescents were accused of homicides against relatives such as: father, daughter (3-month old,) newborn daughter, grandmother, aunt, pregnant adolescent partner, brother, female cousin and two cases against children under one year old took place with the complicity of the partner.

In a smaller proportion, but requiring specialized attention, 7 adolescents were reported to be authors/accomplices of sexual crimes: in 5 cases the victims were girls/boys; in one case involving 2 adolescents, a woman was murdered and in another, an adolescent girl was arrested for sexual exploitation along with other individuals.

Other 6 adolescents were arrested along with adults in cases of theft and robbery in public transport units; in two occasions, the arrest included the parents and in one of them, beside the robbery, a woman and her child were sexually assaulted. The rest of the cases involve robberies and thefts without the company of adults; drug trafficking, fraud and kidnapping.

Venezuela, as a signatory of the Convention, is yet to implement a preventive policy of justice for children and adolescents in accordance with the Integral Protection Doctrine.