Comparative law and justice/Venezuela

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Mc2180 19:31, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

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Basic Information[edit]

Venezuela also known as Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela, located in Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana. Think of Venezuela as twice the size of California the size being total: 912,050 sq km, land: 882,050 sq km, water: 30,000 sq km.[1]The weather is slightly hot, and humid, it's very important to use sunblock at all times. Located near the equator line, making weather be very hot. At the same time one interesting characteristic about Venezuela is that weather can change from one state to the other, for example Merida has snow, and in some parts of the capital Caracas the weather is always at 50 degrees. The language spoken in Venezuela is Spanish, but to Venezuelan it's called Castellano. But we also have many different ethnic groups: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, Indigenous. Growing up in Venezuela allow me to be influenced by the diversity of people's culture. [2]Religions' According to government estimates, 92 percent of the population is at least nominally Roman Catholic, and the remaining 8 percent Protestant, a member of another religion, or atheist. The Venezuelan Evangelical Council estimates that evangelical Protestants constitute 10 percent of the population.[3] There are small but influential Muslim and Jewish communities. The Muslim community of more than 100,000 is concentrated among persons of Lebanese and Syrian descent living in Nueva Esparta State and the Caracas area. The Jewish community numbers approximately 13,000 and is mainly concentrated in Caracas. Groups: Mix Race 67%, Whites 21%, Black 10%, Native Indians 2% [4] Area: total: 912,050 sq km country comparison to the world: 33 land: 882,050 sq km water: 30,000 sq km.[5]

Population: 13,125,804 Males 13,001,527 Females, 0-14 years of age (34.04%),15-64 years of age (61.51%),65 yrs over (4.4%)[6]

Brief History[edit]

Precolombino Period

The first to establish in Venezuelan territory were part of communities called paleolíticas (paleo = antiguo; lithos = piedra). It is estimated that the first migration were between the years 15.000 and 10.000 A.C. proceeding from the North and Central-américa. Later, around 1.000 A.C. and the second half of the XV century (D.C.) other tribes came to the country with the knowledge of agricultural. The stages is divided into (4) different periods:

• Paleo-Indio • Meso-Indio • Neo-Indio • Indio-hispano[7] About 500,000 indiginous were estimated to be in Venezuela before the Spanish colonized Venezuela in August 5, 1498 by Christopher Columbus on his third trip to the Americas. In 1810, After 300 years of the Spaniards ruling Venezuela,"El Libertador" Simon Bolivar declared independence on April 19, 1810. This marked the starting of the Venezuelan Revolution. The first congress was established on March 2, 1811. Venezuela independence is July 5th, 1811.

Coat_of_arms_of_Venezuela.svg‎ (SVG file, nominally 464 × 557 pixels, file size: 570 KB)

Economic Development, Health, and Education[edit]

Economic Venezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 90% of export earnings, about 50% of the federal budget revenues, and around 30% of GDP. A nationwide strike between December 2002 and February 2003 had far-reaching economic consequences - real GDP declined by around 9% in 2002 and 8% in 2003 - but economic output since then has recovered strongly. Fueled by high oil prices, record government spending helped to boost GDP by about 10% in 2006, 8% in 2007, and nearly 5% in 2008, before the world recession caused a contraction in 2009. This spending, combined with recent minimum wage hikes and improved access to domestic credit, has created a consumption boom but has come at the cost of higher inflation - roughly 20% in 2007 and more than 30% in 2008. Imports also jumped significantly before the recession of 2009. Declining oil prices in the latter part of 2008 are undermining the government's ability to continue the high rate of spending. President Hugo CHAVEZ in 2008-09 continued efforts to increase the government's control of the economy by nationalizing firms in the agribusiness, banking, tourism, oil, cement, and steel sectors. In 2007, he nationalized firms in the petroleum, communications, and electricity sectors. In January, 2010, CHAVEZ announced a dual exchange rate system for the fixed rate bolivar. The system offers a 2.6 bolivar per dollar rate for imports of essentials, including food, medicine, and industrial machinery, and a 4.3 bolivar per dollar rate for imports of other products, including cars and telephones.[8] Education Venezuela has made considerable progress in education in recent years. An extensive literacy campaign has been conducted by the Venezuelan business community since 1980. For the year 2000, adult illiteracy was estimated at 7.0% (males, 6.7%; females, 7.3%). Public education from kindergarten through university is free, and education is compulsory for children ages 6 through 15. Approximately 20% of the national budget is assigned to education. As of 2006, Educational Expenditure on education was estimated at 3.7% of GDP (2006)[9] vs in 1995 it was 5% of GDP.

Preprimary schools are being established throughout the country by the government. After nine years of elementary school, children undergo two to three years of secondary school, which comes in two stages: the first is designed to provide a general education in the sciences and the humanities; the second prepares students for the university and offers specialization in philosophy and literature, physical science and mathematics, or biological science. In 1997, there were 4,262,221 students enrolled in elementary schools, with 202,195 teachers. Also in 1997, secondary schools enrolled 377,984 students and employed approximately 34,000 teachers. As of 1999, 88% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 50% of those eligible attended secondary school. Technical and vocational schools provide instruction in industry and commerce, the trades, nursing, and social welfare.

There are 14 universities, both national and private, including the University of Venezuela (founded in 1725), Los Andes University (1785), Simón Bolívar University (1970), and the Open University (1977). Leading private institutions were the Andrés Bello Catholic University (1953), Santa María University (1953), and the Metropolitan University of Caracas (1970). Over 47 institutes of higher learning, colleges, and polytechnic institutes exist where students pursue at least 180 different fields or professions. As of 1998, all universities had a combined enrollment that exceeded 300,000, representing a 40% increase over the last decade.[10] Healthcare Venezuela has both public and private healthcare services. The public health service is run by the government and offers free treatment but charges for prescriptions. Conditions, however, are often different to what tourists may be used to. Private hospitals offer a higher standard of treatment but these require large deposits or a credit card, even for emergencies, and can be very expensive. The private ambulance service in Venezuela will also cost a lot to use. Public ambulances can be found at Police and National Guard checkpoints (alcabala) all over the country or called from the nearest hospital or the Defensa Civil in the case of an emergency.

For minor illnesses or health problems, Venezuela has many good pharmacies which stock almost all brand medicines, and you can buy most brands sold at home, often at a cheaper price. Pharmacists will give you free advice, and you can purchase most medication without a prescription.

No vaccinations are mandatory for Venezuela unless you are travelling from an infected country, in which case officials may ask to see a vaccination certificate.

Many diseases can be easily avoided if the right precautions are taken. Always drink bottled water and check that ice in drinks is made from purified water, which is usually the case. Generally, you should not have any problems with Venezuelan food, even from street vendors, but do give your stomach enough time to adjust and be careful in the first few days. This I know from personal experience, during my stays in Venezuela there hasn't been a time where I do not get sick. Adjusting to the foods is not the problem is the water which causes a lot of the awful results.


Cholera The Cholera vaccination gives little protection against the disease and only lasts for six months. Cholera is caught mainly from contaminated water, thus it can be easily avoided if the above precautions are taken.

Hepatitis ‘A’ Hepatitis ‘A’ is a common disease among travellers. It is spread by contaminated food and water, and can be serious. Long term immunity (10 years or more) can be obtained from the Havrix vaccination, which consists of an initial injection and a booster six to twelve months later. Gamma Globulin is another form of prevention. It is not a vaccination but an antibody collected from blood donations. It usually lasts for up to six months, thus should be administered as close as possible to departure. It does not, however, provide the same protection as Havrix.

Hepatitis ‘B’ Hepatitis ‘B’ is a disease spread through contact with infected bodily fluids. It can be transmitted through blood transfusions, use of unclean needles or sexual activity. Any travellers visiting a country known to have many carriers of the disease, where blood transfusions may not be adequately screened or where sexual contact is possible should consider a hepatitis B vaccination. The vaccination consists of three injections, with at least four weeks between the first and second shots, and five months between the second and third.

Tetanus & Diphtheria Tetanus is a potentially fatal disease and occurs in wound infection. Diphtheria, a throat infection, can also be fatal. Everyone should be vaccinated against these diseases. In both cases, ten yearly boosters follow an initial course of three injections.

Yellow Fever Yellow fever is a virus spread by mosquitos and is found in many parts of South America. In many countries, yellow fever is now the only vaccine that is a legal entry requirement, but is usually only enforced with travellers coming from infected areas. The vaccination is very effective, and one injection lasts for ten years. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to travel in or around South America. The vaccination may pose some risk during pregnancy, but is still advisable for women travelling to high-risk areas. People allergic to eggs may not be able to have the vaccination and this should be discussed with your doctor.

Malaria Malaria is a potentially fatal disease spread by a certain species of mosquito: the anopheles. Antimalarial drugs do not prevent infection, but reduce the risk of serious illness by killing the malarial parasites during their development. There are many factors to consider when choosing an anti-malarial and up-to-date, expert advice should be sought. Those travelling to high-risk areas where medical attention may be difficult to obtain are advised to carry a treatment dose of medication, in case symptoms develop. Malaria, however, is best prevented by avoiding mosquito bites. The risk can be significantly reduced by noting the following tips:

Wear light colored trousers and long sleeved tops between dusk and dawn. Avoid wearing perfume or aftershave. Sleep in properly screened rooms and spray the room with insecticide. If sleeping elsewhere, use a mosquito net which has been treated with pyrethroids. Apply mosquito repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) to all areas of exposed skin. A course of vitamin B complex tablets can help deter biting insects.[11]


Federal Republic, Court System: Open, adversarial court system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction[12] The Venezuelan Government dominates the economy. The state oil company, PDVSA, controls the petroleum sector. Government companies control the electricity sector and important parts of the telecommunications and media sectors. In 2008, the government nationalized cement and steel producers, as well as select companies in the milk and meat distribution sectors. In 2009 it nationalized assets in the oil (including assets owned by U.S. oil services companies), chemicals, tourism, agribusiness (including a processed rice plant owned by a U.S. company), retail, and banking industries. These and previous nationalizations, as well as other threats to property rights and an uncertain macroeconomic environment characterized by high inflation and foreign exchange controls, have led to reduced space for the private sector and low levels of private investment.[13]


Chief of state: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Executive Vice President Elias JAUA Milano (since 26 January 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Executive Vice President Elias JAUA Milano (since 26 January 2010) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president Elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for unlimited reelection); election last held 3 December 2006 (next to be held in December 2012) note: in 1999, a National Constituent Assembly drafted a new constitution that increased the presidential term to six years; an election was subsequently held on 30 July 2000 under the terms of this constitution; in 2009, a national referendum approved the elimination of term limits on all elected officials, including the presidency election results: Hugo CHAVEZ Frias reelected president; percent of vote - Hugo CHAVEZ Frias 62.9%, Manuel ROSALES 36.9% Election is done overseas and locally.[14]

Judicial Review[edit]

Venezuela has no dual organization of national and state courts. Since 1945, all courts have been part of the federal system. At one point a parallel organization of state courts existed. Regardless of their form of organization, the courts have never exercised as much influence as the executive or even the legislative branch in Venezuela.

As is the case with the legislature, the judicial branch in Venezuela does not share equal status with the executive. Although the law provides for the process of judicial review and for coequal status among the three branches of government, the reality is quite different. The Venezuelan brand of federalism does not provide for state courts. The law is perceived as the same, unitary, throughout the national territory. Thus, all courts and virtually all legal officers, from those who arrest to those who prosecute, are federal (i.e., central government) officials. Venezuelan legal system is of the code law system, because of the legal system being so rigid, there's hardly any room for judicial discretion.

The highest body in the judicial system is the fifteen-member Supreme Court of Justice, which is divided into three chambers that handle respectively, politico-administrative, civil, and penal matters. Its members are elected by joint session of the Congress for nine-year terms. One-third of the membership is renewed every three years. Each justice is restricted to a single term of nine years; this short tenure effectively limits how much a Supreme Court justice can accomplish.

Below the Supreme Court are seventeen judicial districts, each district having its own superior court. Lower courts within a judicial district include courts of instruction, district courts, municipal courts, and courts of first instance. The superior courts are composed of either one or three judges, a bailiff, and a secretary. They serve as appellate courts for matters originating in courts of first instance in the areas of civil and criminal law. Some deal exclusively with civil matters, others with criminal matters, and others with all categories of appeals. The courts of first instance are composed of one judge, a bailiff, and a secretary. They have both appellate and original jurisdiction and are divided into civil, mercantile, penal, finance, transit, labor, and juvenile courts. District courts are composed of one judge, one bailiff, and a secretary; they also operate nationwide. They have original jurisdiction in small bankruptcy and boundary suits, and appellate jurisdiction over all cases from the municipal courts. Municipal courts, consisting of a judge, a bailiff, and a secretary, hear small claims cases and also try those accused of minor crimes and misdemeanors. They also perform marriages. Although they do not constitute courts as such, instruction judges issue indictments, oversee investigations to determine whether a case merits the attention of the courts and, if so, issue an arrest warrant. Thus, these judges perform a crucial task in the initial stages of all cases that come before the courts.

In addition to the courts of ordinary jurisdiction, several courts of special jurisdiction operate under the Ministry of Justice. Military tribunals, fiscal tribunals, and juvenile courts all fall into this category. Although they operate independently of the ordinary courts, the Supreme Court also acts as the highest court of appeal for the special courts. Juvenile courts throughout the country try those under eighteen years of age.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Venezuelan judicial system is its carryover of medieval Castilian traditions, such as the fuero militar (military privilege). Under this centuries-old tradition, members of the military cannot be tried by criminal or civilian courts, although the military has at times intruded into the civilian judicial system. The system for selecting judges tended to limit their independence. The Congress chooses the members of the Supreme Court, and the minister of justice names judges to the lower civilian courts. Neither category of judge enjoyed life tenure. Judges' salaries were submitted to Congress as line items in the Ministry of Justice's annual budget and were therefore not guaranteed. Thus, in a number of ways the judiciary was subordinate to and dependent upon the good will of the executive and the legislative branches. Although Venezuelan jurists occupied a highly regarded position in society, they did not hold nearly as much power as their counterparts in those systems where judicial review and common law are the basic determinants of procedures.[15]

Courts and Criminal Law[edit]

In August 1999, the National Constitutional Assembly (ANC) declared a judicial emergency to reform the highly discredited judiciary. The ANC immediately dismissed 16 judges. By the end of the year, 200 judges had been fired, mostly for corruption.

While the judicial system was independent, it was corrupt and inefficient. Most crimes in Venezuela went unpunished and citizens often have taken the law into their own hands. In the prisons, more than 70% of inmates have never been formally charged with a crime and they languish behind bars for years before their cases are heard. Prisons have been criticized for inhumane conditions.

The ANC approved the new Organic Code of Criminal Procedures in 1999, replacing the inquisitorial system with an open court system. For the first time, trials were open to the public, with oral proceedings and verdicts by juries or panels of judges. The new system introduced presumption of innocence and prevented police from arbitrarily detaining persons for up to eight days without charges. Judges no longer act as investigators. Now they are arbiters of law, presiding court sessions where prosecutors and defense attorneys argue cases in open court. Police investigators now work under the supervision of prosecutors. While judicial reforms were applauded by human rights organizations, it was uncertain how they would affect the judicial system in the long run. Intensive training will be required for judges, attorneys and police.

The Supreme Court of Justice remains the nation's highest tribunal and court of final appeal. The prosecutor general provides opinions to the courts, and investigates the violations of constitutional rights of prisoners and the criminal conduct of public employees. The Ministry of Justice oversees the lower court system, selects and trains judges. The lower courts are made up of district and municipal courts, and trial and appeal courts that hear civil and criminal cases. [16]


Venezuela was the first country in the world to abolished the Death Penalty for all crime, this was established on 1863.

Venezuela is the second country in Latin America to pass the law of no corporal punishment allow.

The new law:

Article 32a. The right to good treatment All children and young people have a right to be treated well. This right includes a non-violent education and upbringing, based on love, affection, mutual understanding and respect, and solidarity.

Parents, representatives, guardians, relatives, and teachers should use non-violent methods of education and discipline to raise and educate their children. Consequently, all forms of physical and humiliating punishment are prohibited. The State, with the active participation of society, must ensure policies, programmes and protection measures are in place to abolish all forms of physical and humiliating punishment of children and young people.

Corporal punishment is defined as the use of force, in raising or educating children, with the intention of causing any degree of physical pain or discomfort to correct, control or change the behaviour of children and young people.

Humiliating punishment can be understood as any form of offensive, denigrating, devaluing, stigmatising or mocking, treatment, carried out to raise or educate children and young people, with the aim of disciplining, controlling or changing their behaviour.

Article 56. The right to be respected by teachers. All children and young people have the right to be respected by their teachers, and receive an education based on love, affection, mutual understanding, national identity, mutual respect for ideas and beliefs, and solidarity. Consequently, all forms of physical and humiliating punishment are prohibited.

Article 358. Content of the responsibility for raising children. The responsibility for raising children includes the shared duty and right, which is equal and non-derogable, of the father and mother to love, raise, train, educate, and look after their children, sustain and assist them financially, morally and emotionally, using appropriate corrective measures that do not violate their dignity, rights, guarantees or overall development. Consequently, all forms of physical punishment, psychological violence and humiliating treatment, which harm children and young people, are prohibited.[17]

Legal Personnel[edit]

President--Hugo CHÁVEZ Frias Vice President--Elias Jaua Minister of Foreign Affairs--Nicolas MADURO Moro Minister of Defense--Carlos Jose MATA Figueroa Ambassador to the United States--Bernardo ALVARAREZ Herrera Ambassador to the Organization of American States--Roy CHADERTON Matos Ambassador to the United Nations--Jorge VALERO Briceño

Requirements for lawyers and judges in the Supreme Court: Article 263

1. Born in Venezuela 2. Recognized citizenship (Honorable). 3. Proper education , good reputation, been practicing law for at least 15 years and have a master in judicial studies; or be a University professor of Judicial Studies for a minimun of 15 years or be a previous judge in a lower court. 4. Other requirements may be need by law. [18]

Law Enforcement[edit]

Police Forces

The police forces divided into six(6) groups:

(1) Policía Técnica Judicial (PTJ) is a criminal police force under the Ministry of Justice and is responsible for crime investigation (including passport theft, etc). They wear black uniforms or plain clothes. (2) Guardia Nacional (National Guard) is a paramilitary force run by the Ministry of Defense to provide national security within the country and at its frontiers. The NG are part of the check points in Venezuela, they also patrol borders, and patrol the coast. It's necessary that you carry your passport, or identification at all time. In Venezuela it's a daily ordinary occurrence to get stop by the NG. Their uniforms are basically green camouflage uniforms. (3) Policía Metropolitana (Metropolitan Police) wear blue uniforms and patrol the cities to keep the peace. (4) Policía Municipal (Municipal Police) have a similar role and patrol the districts. Their uniform is light brown. (5) Vigilancia de Transito (Transport Police) is an organization run by the Ministry of the Interior. They patrol highways in white vehicles and wear brown uniforms. (6) DISIP (Dirección de los Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevención, Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services) is an internal security force under the Ministry of the Interior. They dress either in black uniforms or plain clothes and drive yellow and black cars.[19]


The Venezuelan military consist of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, FANB): National Bolivarian Army (Ejercito Nacional Bolivariano, ENB), Bolivarian National Navy (Armada Nacional Bolivariana (ANB); includes Naval Infantry, Coast Guard, Naval Aviation), Bolivarian National Military Aviation (Aviacion Militar Nacional Bolivariana, AMNB), Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivaria, GNB), Bolivarian National Militia (Milicia Nacional Bolivariana, MNB) (2009) Military service age and obligation: 18-30 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 30-month conscript service obligation; all citizens 18-50 years old are obligated to register for military service (2008) Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 6,647,124, females age 16-49: 6,801,133 (2008 est.) Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 5,391,582, females age 16-49: 5,873,563 (2009 est.) Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 276,051, female: 274,162 (2009 est.) [20]

Crime Rates[edit]

Adults prosecuted 9,660 [23rd of 28]

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Embezzlements 4,111 [15th of 36] Embezzlements (per capita) 0.16201 per 1,000 people [25th of 44] Females prosecuted 555 [24th of 26] Frauds 11,741 [23rd of 48] Frauds (per capita) 0.4627 per 1,000 people [31st of 61] Illicit drugs small-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives; however, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border Jails 48 [25th of 80] Jails (per capita) 0.00122167 per 1,000 people [57th of 62] Judges and Magistrates 630 [25th of 35] Judges and Magistrates (per capita) 0.0248276 per 1,000 people [40th of 45] Murders 8,022 [7th of 49] Murders (per capita) 0.316138 per 1,000 people [4th of 62] Murders committed by youths 2,090 [7th of 73] Murders committed by youths per capita 25 [6th of 57] Police 3,954 [43rd of 47] Prisoners 19,255 prisoners [22nd of 168] Prisoners > Female 5.7% [35th of 134] Prisoners > Per capita 76 per 100,000 people [107th of 164] Prisoners > Pre-trial detainees 52.1% [31st of 143] Prisoners > Share of prison capacity filled 97.2% [96th of 128] Rapes 2,931 [15th of 50] Rapes (per capita) 0.115507 per 1,000 people [20th of 65] Robberies 34,975 [12th of 47] Robberies (per capita) 1.37833 per 1,000 people [13th of 64] Sentence Length 1,422 [7th of 21] Software piracy rate 87% [9th of 107] Total crimes 236,165 [30th of 50] Total crimes (per capita) 9.307 per 1,000 people [46th of 60] Transnational Issues > Trafficking in persons > Current situation Venezuela is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; Venezuelan women and girls are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation, lured from the nation's interior to urban and tourist areas; child prostitution in urban areas and child sex tourism in resort destinations appear to be growing; Venezuelan women and girls are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to Western Europe, Mexico, and Caribbean destinations Transnational Issues > Trafficking in persons > Tier rating Tier 2 Watch List - Venezuela is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List, up from Tier 3, as it showed greater resolve to address trafficking through law enforcement measures and prevention efforts in 2007, although stringent punishment of offenders and victim assistance remain lacking United States extradition treaties > Citation 43 Stat. 1698. United States extradition treaties > Date signed Jan. 19, 21, 1922 United States extradition treaties > Entered into force April 14, 1923 Unpaid diplomatic parking fines 9.1 [65th of 143][21]


The Constitution provides for freedom of religion on the condition that the practice of a religion does not violate public morality, decency, or public order, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion. The law at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors.[22]

Venezuela has many interesting rights for all the citizen, some which I found to be very important. Education is mention in the constitution and protected by it, also Healthcare it provided.

Article 20 Every human has the right to be free in developing their personality, without limitations and not taken other peoples rights, and keeping the order with the public, and social.

Article 43

The right to live can't not be violated. NO Law could be established for the death penalty, and no authority could establish it.

Article 68 No weapons allowed.[23]

Family Law[edit]

The constitution of the Repúblic Bolivariana of Venezuela

Article 75 Stated the protection of the nucleus of a family as an essential part of society. At the same time making it clear that the protection is also for the individuals who are the head of household, either being the mother, father, family member or a person who is in charge of the family. A child has the right to grow up with their family of origns, but if at any time they no longer are able to provide for them, a substitute family will be in place. As for adoption the adoptee is also protected the same way any child would be protected by the state.

Article 76 The integrity of Paternity and Maternity is protected, no matter of your status as a couple, married, not married or divorce. A couple has the right to make a decision on how the number of children he or she wants. At the same time the state guarantees assistant to a female who is pregnant from the time of conceiving to birth with medical assistant and family planing. A father and mother have equal right to the child but they are not allow to stop raising, providing, development,educating, and support their child. The law does protect and will make sure the proper child support is been established and collected.

Article 77 A marriage consist of a man and a woman. As long as it's a mutual agreement.

Article 78 The state, family and society will give the full protecting to the children.

Article 79 A juvenile will be treated and protect by the state and at the same time helping them to develop and to be involve in an active role to the society.

Article 80 All elderly will be protected by the state, and the will be provided with social security, and pension. Elderly are guarantee work if they desire to find any positions that there may be available. The state will guarantee their protection.[24]

Women have citizenship rights just as male in Venezuela do.

Social Inequality[edit]

Venezuela holds the lowest inequality in Latin America over the last (10) years, Venezuela’s poverty has decreased. According the statistics from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), poverty in Venezuela is down by 24.5 percentage points from 50.5% poverty in 1998 to 26% at the end of 2008.

The president of the INE, Elias Eljuri, attributed the decrease in poverty to the social programs implemented by the national government. According to a preview of the annual report of the United Nations Program of Development, Venezuela has a higher index of development than 118 countries, located in 61st place.

Looking at all the countries of Latin America, Venezuela falls in 13th place out of 33 countries, ahead of Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador.[25]

There is considerable income inequality. The Gini coefficient was 0.41 in the first half of 2009. According to government statistics, the percentages of poor and extremely poor among Venezuelan households were 26.4% and 6.9%, respectively, in the first half of 2009.[26]

Human Rights[edit]

Venezuela is a constitutional democracy with a population of approximately 25 million. In 2000 voters elected President Hugo Chavez of the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR) in generally free and fair elections. While civilian authorities generally maintained control of the security forces, there were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of government authority.

Politicization of the judiciary, restrictions on the media, and harassment of the political opposition continued to characterize the human rights situation during the year. The government used the justice system selectively against the political opposition and implementation of a 2004 media law threatened to limit press freedom.

The following human rights problems were reported:

unlawful killings of criminal suspects torture and abuse of detainees harsh prison conditions including violence and severe overcrowding arbitrary arrests and detentions corrupt, inefficient, and highly politicized judicial system characterized by trial delays, impunity, and violations of due process dismissal or forced retirements of judges for political reasons unlawful taking of private property, including failure to make property restitution in such cases illegal wiretapping and searches of private homes and businesses official intimidation and attacks on the independent media, the political opposition, labor unions, courts, the Catholic Church, missionary groups, and human rights groups widespread corruption at all levels of government violence and discrimination against women, abuse of children, discrimination against persons with disabilities, and inadequate protection of the rights of indigenous people trafficking in persons restrictions on the right of association


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including

Freedom From:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

The government or its agents were not accused of committing any politically motivated killings. Security forces committed unlawful killings, including summary executions of criminal suspects, and mistreated persons in custody resulting in deaths.

In August the attorney general's office released statistics implicating security forces in approximately six thousand killings during the last five years. The survey included all security force-related deaths, whether or not misconduct was alleged. The human rights nongovernmental organization (NGO) Venezuelan Program of Action and Education in Human Rights (PROVEA) documented 162 unlawful killings from October 2004 through September. The human rights NGO Committee for the Families of the Victims of February 1989 (COFAVIC) noted the expansion of police death squad activity linked to police participation in crime.

In January Amnesty International reported that two Aragua State police officers allegedly shot and killed Rigoberto Barrios in Guanayen, Aragua State. Rigoberto Barrios was the third member of the Barrios family allegedly killed by police, despite a 2004 Inter-American Court of Human Rights resolution ordering police protection for the family.

In June security forces killed students Leonardo Gonzalez, Erick Montenegro, and Edgar Quintero and injured three others near a Caracas police checkpoint. Autopsy results showed that two of the students were shot multiple times and that all had shots to the head. The minister of interior told the press he had proof that a patrol was ordered to plant guns where the bodies of the students had fallen. The attorney general's office implicated approximately 30 officers in connection with the killings, and the case was under investigation at year's end.

In December a Caracas judge convicted three former police officers as the material authors of the 2004 killing of prosecutor Danilo Anderson (see section 1.e.).

There were no significant developments in the following cases reported in 2004: the January killings of nine men, allegedly by Lara State police officers; and the March killing of Juan Carlos Zembrano in Lagunillas, Zulia State, allegedly by soldiers.

On August 12, a judge convicted 11 Portuguesa State police officers for murders stemming from their participation in the death squad "Exterminio." Exterminio had been accused of up to 100 killings during 2000-01 in Portuguesa State. Human rights NGOs criticized the decision, which absolved the officers of responsibility in 4 of 7 cases, noting that 17 witnesses were killed during the approximately 5-year trial delay.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.

Human rights groups noted that police officers sometimes disposed of their victims' bodies to avoid investigations. PROVEA recorded 17 reports of disappearances allegedly involving security forces from October 2004 to September. The NGO Red de Apoyo received six reports of disappearances between January and June and noted that this figure exceeded the total number of disappearance reports it had received in 2004. On July 1, human rights NGOs issued a joint statement expressing concern over the increase in disappearances.

In January the press reported that retired Air Force Colonel Silvino Bustillos, a leader of the Plaza Francia military dissidents, requested political asylum in Colombia. Bustillos was reported missing in October 2004 after allegedly being followed by agents of the General Directorate for Military Intelligence (DIM).

There were no significant developments in the case of the Investigative and Criminal Police Corps (CICPC) officers investigated for possibly kidnapping three persons in Tachira State in May 2004.

In June the government acknowledged its responsibility for the forced disappearances of Oscar Blanco Romero, Roberto Hernandez Paz, and Jose Rivas Fernandez following the Vargas floods in 1999. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights accepted the acknowledgement and, in November ruled that the country had violated international conventions on torture and forced disappearance. The court ordered the country to pay reparations and open judicial proceedings on the case. Domestic courts had not convicted any of the security forces allegedly involved in the disappearances by year's end.

The Center of Ranching Studies reported that kidnappers targeting ranchers, farmers, and their families claimed at least 30 victims during the year. Kidnappers killed four of these victims, and unidentified assassins killed at least two more farmers (see section 1.a.). The National Cattle Ranchers Federation and press reports attributed the attacks to criminal gangs, Colombian guerrillas, and other illegal armed groups, such as the Bolivarian Liberation Forces. The National Guard's antiextortion and kidnapping unit rescued at least one victim during the year, but many ranchers paid protection money to illegal armed groups rather than rely on government authorities.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Although the law prohibits such practices, NGOs, media, and opposition groups accused security forces of continuing to torture and abuse detainees. Abuse most commonly consisted of beatings during arrest or interrogation, but there also were incidents in which the security forces used near-suffocation and other forms of torture.

PROVEA reported that between October 2004 and September, it received 31 complaints of torture and 503 complaints regarding cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. From January to June, Red de Apoyo received 10 complaints from alleged torture victims. There were no arrests associated with these cases.

The government did not authorize independent investigation of torture complaints. Human rights groups continued to question the attorney general's ability to oversee neutral investigations as an active member of the president's political party and a former vice president in the government. Groups also asserted that the Institute of Forensic Medicine, part of the CICPC, was unlikely to be impartial in the examinations of cases that involved torture by CICPC members. Few cases of torture resulted in convictions.[27]

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