The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereafter Venezuela) continues to endure the effects of a deteriorating economy
– in particular, shortages of essential goods, lack of basic services and hyperinflation. Small demonstrations, mainly in
relation to socio-economic issues, are a frequent occurrence; these sometimes lead to casualties and arrests. High levels
of organized armed violence and criminality persist in urban places and border areas. Police forces are usually aided by
the military during law enforcement operations.
ff The situation in Venezuela has led people to search for better living conditions and income-generating opportunities
elsewhere, in border areas or overseas. People leave the country by land to neighbouring countries such as Brazil, Colombia
and Ecuador; others travel by sea to nearby islands in the Caribbean.
ff Some armed groups involved in the conflict in Colombia are active in areas along the Venezuela-Colombia border; skirmishes
and other violence have occurred in these areas. Guyana and Venezuela are locked in a border dispute.
ff In Trinidad and Tobago, some people are alleged to have been recruited into fighting forces abroad. In violence-prone areas in Venezuela, such as parts of Caracas and those along the country’s border with Colombia, young
people are particularly susceptible to criminal behaviour, owing to poverty and scarcity of job opportunities; their education
is often disrupted by violence. There are reports on the use of excessive force during security operations in these areas.
ff Wounded and sick people in Venezuela have difficulty obtaining appropriate care. Many health and medical facilities have
insufficient supplies of medicines and equipment.
ff Communities living in areas along the Venezuela-Colombia border, and the people that they host, lack access to adequate
health, water and sanitation facilities. They continue to be affected by the armed conflicts in Colombia.
ff People on their way out of Venezuela have limited access to basic services, and risk falling out of touch with their families;
those who cross dangerous border areas are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Migrants who arrive in
Caribbean islands and other destinations face similar challenges (see also Brasilia, Colombia and Lima). Irregular migrants
in Curaçao, and Trinidad and Tobago, are often detained and/or deported.
ff Some detainees in Venezuela are reportedly held at times in unsuitable or overcrowded places of detention – as a result
of protracted judicial procedures. Caracas – Venezuela
ICRC OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES
In 2019, the main priorities of the ICRC’s regional delegation in Caracas will be to:
ff with the Venezuelan Red Cross and other local partners,
step up efforts to help vulnerable people in violenceprone
areas in Venezuela to cope with their situation
and build their resilience to the effects of violence;
ff continue to help further develop the capacities of
emergency responders and medical professionals –
including those from the health ministry – working
in violence-prone areas; maintain support for the
National Society’s basic health services for people in
areas along the Venezuela-Colombia border;
ff help people separated from their families owing to
violence, migration or detention to contact each
other; build the capacities of pertinent Movement
components in restoring family links and strengthen
coordination with them, with a view to enhancing
activities for vulnerable migrants in the region;
ff sustain dialogue with detaining authorities in
Venezuela on securing access to detainees within the
ICRC’s purview; engage the pertinent authorities in
Curaçao, and Trinidad and Tobago, in dialogue on
maintaining access to detained migrants there; and
ff continue to support the incorporation of international
policing standards and IHL in police and military
procedures; expand its efforts to further understanding
of applicable international norms and humanitarian
issues, and broaden support for the Movement, among
civil society and the general public.