Latin America

International Criminal Court on Venezuela, Colombia: a double standard?

Two contrasting decisions in the space of a week see Venezuela in the dock while Colombia is let off the hook – despite concerns a special court in the country will not guarantee justice is done

colombia venezuela international court
Recently-appointed ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Photo: Twitter/@IntlCrimCourt

Two bitter political rivals, Venezuela and Colombia, saw contrasting decisions by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in just one week. The Hague-based tribunal opened a formal investigation against the Nicolás Maduro administration for potential crimes against humanity following anti-government protests in 2017, while almost simultaneously shelving a 17-year old probe on Colombia’s military and paramilitary murders.

At the heart of both announcements was the recently-appointed ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan, who toured the region between October 25 and November 3 and met with high-level authorities in both nations, including presidents, Supreme Court justices, diplomats, and civil society representatives.


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