14 October 2021
The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expresses its deep concern over the death of General Raul Isaias Baduel on 12 October 2021 while in State custody.
In its latest report of September 2021, the Mission referred to delays and irregularities in the criminal case against General Baduel. In March 2017, General Baduel was arrested on treason and incitement to rebellion charges. He was in detention at the time of his arrest, but was due for release one day after this arrest, as he had completed his sentence. His family and legal representatives were unaware of his whereabouts for a period of 23 days in 2020. He was still awaiting trial at the time of his death, more than four years after the arrest was made.
The Mission calls upon the Venezuelan authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough, transparent and independent investigation into the cause of death and to share the results with General Baduel’s family, in accordance with the State’s duty to uphold the right to truth and following the Minnesota Protocol.
Furthermore, the Mission urges authorities to cease immediately due process irregularities and human rights violations such as those documented in General Baduel’s case and other cases included in the Mission’s 2020 and 2021 reports.
The Mission reiterates its recommendation that the Government carry out a judicial analysis of the legality of detentions in the cases referenced in the Mission’s reports and immediately release all detainees that have been detained arbitrarily.