Can the UN condemn Juan Guaidó?

Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said she will denounce Guiadó to the UN for the photographs in which he poses with leaders of 'Los Rastrojos'

The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela and the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó

The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela and the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó / AP - Leonardo Fernandez

LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza

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Leer en español: ¿Puede la ONU condenar a Juan Guaidó?

Last week, controversial photographs of Juan Guaidó came to light with the leaders of 'Los Rastrojos', a paramilitary group from Colombia. The photos would have been taken on February 23 when the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela crossed the border to attend the concert that raised humanitarian aid for citizens, who have been affected by the political and economic crisis of the oil nation. The terrorist group would have been responsible for transferring the opposition leader by "trails" before the Colombian government assigned him a security scheme.

According to Semana, the men who appear in the images “would be John Jairo Durán Contreras aka Minor and Albeiro Lobo Quintero, aka Brother. The first would have become the chief of Los Rastrojos and the second, the chief of finance, who was on the list of the most wanted criminals in Norte de Santander. Both were captured by the Colombian authorities last June.”

In addition to the images that caused outrage and controversy, Venezuelan Television (VTV, in Spanish) released more photographs of Guaidó with another alleged member of the criminal gang. According to the television network, it is Jhonathan Orlando Zambrano García, aka Patron Pobre, “head of the cells responsible for the kidnappings in the town of La Fría and Boca de Grita (State of Táchira (…) [and] petrol smuggler” .

Nicolás Maduro gave strong statements about it and said that “it was the order of the Nariño Palace to use Los Rastrojos to extract Juan Guaidó on February 23. Hopefully the Colombian Congress, the institutions of Colombia, will open some investigation, and here are all the evidence and all the witnesses and the Colombian Prosecutor's Office can come to interrogate witnesses widely recognized as criminals”.

Jorge Rodríguez, communications minister, presented other photographs in which Guaidó is seen posing with Iván Posso Pedrozo, aka Nandito. The minister explained that the latter was recently detained in Zulia state and would have told Venezuelan authorities how a squadron of Los Rastrojos transferred Guaidó to Colombian territory on February 22, from the border state of Táchira.

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With the evidence that members of the government of Nicolás Maduro have been able to collect, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez announced on Saturday, September 21, that they plan to denounce the opposition leader and the criminal group before the UN. According to ADN Radio, "Rodriguez is expected to travel together with Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza to New York to attend on behalf of Nicolás Maduro, before the UN General Assembly."

LatinAmerican Post spoke with the political scientist María Paula Cruz to consult the viability of this complaint and the possible implications in case it is accepted by the UN. Cruz says that the first thing that must be established is what type of complaint Rodriguez would make, since without having clear the nature of the legal action, it is not possible to determine whether it would be accepted or not.

The political scientist also states that in the event that the complaint was received by the United Nations, the international organization would not "retaliate" against Guaido, taking into account that the UN traditionally suggests to the parties involved what is the process to be followed without directly intervening. In case they determine sanctions against the opposition leader, these could only be determined depending on the complaint made by the Venezuelan nation.

By analyzing the information that exists about the alleged complaint that would be filed against Guiadó, the chances of the opposition leader ending up in a prison condemned by the UN would be minimal.

What does Juan Guiadó say to the evidence?

Before the accusations, Guaidó described the images as a “montage”. The team of the leader of the National Assembly said in a statement that "this new assembly represents another chapter of the novels that the usurper regime applies to harass, persecute and imprison."

The Colombian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement informing that "the Colombian Government did not participate in the logistics of the transfer of President Guaidó from Caracas to the border with Colombia, nor did he have any role in the passage of Guaidó through the sites known as' trochas ', used by him and his team”. Iván Duque, on the other hand, declared that “beyond whether there is a photo or no photo, whether or not he greeted many people, what I want to highlight is who he is: a titan, a hero who is fighting for democracy in his country, a man who has had the gallantry of facing a dictator who has persecuted his family, his wife".

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