Episode 87 – Venezuela sequel with Dalila Seoane and Ignacio Jovtis

Dalila Seoane (top-left) and Ignacio Jovtis (bottom-right) talk to Janet and Stephanie

“A complex situation requires complex solutions” – Dalila Seoane explains why it is important to push for accountability for crimes committed in Venezuela at the regional level, besides the international one. There are a lot of international efforts; the UN fact-finding mission, the Panel of Experts of the Organisation of American States on Venezuela and – not to forget – the International Criminal Court, which we talked about here. This time, we dig deep into a case of universal jurisdiction opened in Argentina.

On June 14 this year, the the Docket at the Clooney Foundation for Justice filed a complaint before the Argentine federal justice system, saying that the country must investigate the human rights violations committed in Venezuela, based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. The CFJ is representing family members of two Venezuelans killed during the 2014 protests violently suppressed by the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Just a month later, a prosecutor in Argentina launched an investigation – AP obtained some exclusive details we discuss in the pod.

We hear from Ignacio Jovtis, Senior Program Manager at The Docket who led the investigations in Venezuela, and Dalila Seoane, Gender Prosecution Expert and Crime Analyst for Justice Rapid Response who was deployed to help with the filing of the case. So we asked them how the case started and what made it possible for the Argentine court to pick it up so quickly. We also discuss the hopes of victims on the ground and the – dire – prospects of cooperation from Venezuelan authorities. And we explore what role can Argentina play in fighting for justice, looking back at the other UJ cases about the Franco regime in Spain and the Rohingya community in Myanmar. 

Dalila suggests the movie Argentina 1985, to know more about how to build a complex case, while Ignacio recommends getting a taste of the local grilled meat when you travel around Argentina.


This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.