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Venezuela: Secretary General of the OAS Calls for Immediate End to Violence

  November 26, 2015

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, today condemned the killing in Venezuela of the Secretary General of Acción Democrática Guarico, Luis Manuel Diaz, and called for an immediate end to the violence in the country.

"The violent death of any person is a heinous act that we cannot accept. The killing of a political activist, moreover, leaves us all more vulnerable, and signals that we are all real victims, not just potential victims," said Almagro.

He emphasized that the killing of a political leader is a deadly wound to democracy and a succession of violent acts in an electoral process can be a mortal blow to nearly any kind of democracy.

The incident is not an isolated episode, but one that occurred in conjunction with other attacks against other opposition political leaders in a strategy to intimidate the opposition.

"In truth the entire society is affected by fear and it has shaken the entire international community," said Almagro.

Recently, there have been many complaints of lack of guarantees in the electoral process such as those made by the OAS Secretary General himself in a recent letter to the President of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena.

"We ask the government to act now, we ask for the end of all violence; we ask that the electoral process be transformed into a celebration and not an exercise of force, violence and fear; we ask for the most absolute guarantees for everyone," added the Secretary General.

To reestablish the climate of peace and respect for the law immediately, Almagro called for an end to "speeches filled with threats and dark forecasts and for the disarmament of any armed civilian group, in particular those that depend on the government or the party of the government."

Ahead of the December 6 elections Almagro concluded that "there should not be one more death, one more threat. It is time to put an end to the fear. Every death in Venezuela today hurts everyone in the Americas."

Reference: E-344/15