Systematic violations of rights

Same as last year


Workers' rights violations

Right to justice

In a travesty of justice, on 11 June 2011 Venezuelan trade unionist Rodney Álvarez was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for homicide. To this day, he is still seeking a fair trial while facing dire circumstances in prison.

In 2011, Álvarez was prosecuted for the alleged murder of worker Renny Rojas during a workers’ assembly on the premises of the state-owned company Ferrominera Orinoco of Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG). The assembly was taking place to choose the commission tasked with holding elections for the executive committee of the Sintraferrominera trade union.

The proceedings brought against Rodney Álvarez reflect the lack of separation of powers in the country and imply a clear denial of justice, with eight interruptions and up to 25 preliminary hearings, and with Álvarez having been the victim of three serious knife and gun attacks perpetrated with total impunity during the more than ten years in which he was held in pretrial custody.

Nothing in the judicial file confirmed that Álvarez was armed, let alone that he fired the shots. The judge also dismissed all the defence witnesses who were present at the scene and who saw that another person perpetrated the killing. The statement by the National Guard officer on security duty at the enterprise at the time, who declared that he had detained the other person for firing shots, was disregarded.

Workers’ rights in law

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