Venezuela appoints new ICC ambassador

Gladys Gutierrez will have task of proving Maduro government’s innocence to court

Jorge Jraissati   | 14.05.2021
Venezuela appoints new ICC ambassador

CARACAS, Venezuela

Venezuela’s National Assembly appointed former magistrate Gladys Gutierrez on Thursday as the country’s new ambassador to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The announcement came a week after Vice President Delcy Rodriguez let the ICC know that Venezuela is finishing up a report with evidence against the court’s allegations that the Venezuelan government has committed crimes against humanity against its people.

Rodriguez claims the report has evidence that the alleged crimes were "artificially created" through bot accounts on Twitter. 

“There is a small nucleus of profiles in the Twitter network created by bots that have drastically amplified these false opinions, false realities and matrices to influence the decisions of the ICC," Rodriguez said.

In light of this, the importance of Gutierrez’s appointment is that she would need to advance Venezuela’s claims before the court’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda issues her preliminary examination on the matter, which Bensouda said she would do before July.

Bensouda’s examination will determine whether there is a reasonable basis for requesting the ICC judges to open an investigation into the Maduro government, specifically for the acts of its security forces against protestors in 2017.

Before her appointment as ICC ambassador, Gutierrez also held positions at the Venezuelan National Electoral Council and the country’s Supreme Court.

She was also nominated twice by President Nicolas Maduro to become governor of Nueva Esparta state, but she did not manage to win in either election.

In 2017, Gutierrez was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, and in 2018 by Panama, arguing that she was involved in money laundering.

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