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Number of victims of torture reaches its highest level TIME ONLINE

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The Venezuelan non-governmental organization Provea counted 574 victims of torture last year. That is five times as many victims as in 2018, reports the government-critical portal El Nacionalciting the Provea annual report.

According to this, 23 people were murdered from the more than 500 tortured. This means that a total new torture record has been reached since the organization began documenting it 31 years ago. In 2018, the organization registered 109 victims of torture, according to the report.

"Torture in Venezuela has become systematic practice," the Provea report said. "It takes place largely in prison every day due to the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro."

Four million Venezuelans have left the country

Most recently, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet spoke of serious human rights violations by the Maduro government, extrajudicial executions, torture and repression against the opposition.

The South American country has been experiencing mass exodus for several years due to a supply crisis. In the past two years, more than four million people have Venezuela leave. There are also disputes about international aid in the country. The opposition, led by competing President Juan Guaidó, organized several aid transports with food and medicine. Maduro sees this as the preparation for a US invasion and blocks it.

Guaidó declared himself head of state in January 2019. The US government, including a number of Latin American countries and several EU countries, including Germany, recognized him as interim president.

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