Sept. 16 (UPI) -- A United Nations mission on Wednesday blamed the Venezuelan government for extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, arbitrary detentions and torture of residents since 2014 and demanded that those responsible be held accountable.
Marta Valinas, chair of the U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, said its authorities were responsible for "serious human rights violations" in hundreds of cases.
The mission said it investigated 223 cases, including 48 in-depth case studies, in the 411-page report. It also examined another 2,891 cases to corroborate patterns of the violations. Valinas pointed at the government of longtime President Nicolas Maduro.
"Far from being isolated acts, these crimes were coordinated and committed pursuant to state policies, with the knowledge or direct support of commanding officers and senior government officials," Valinas said.
The report said the Operations for People's Liberation, which was created to fight crime, led to "arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial executions." The mission found that the operation killed 413 people, some at point-blank range. It said the squad was just part of a series of killings and detentions carried out.
"These extrajudicial executions cannot be attributed to a lack of discipline among the security forces," Valinas said. "High-ranking officials had effective command and control over the perpetrators and knowledge of their actions but failed to prevent or repress the violations."
Valinas called on Venezuelan authorities to conduct "prompt, effective, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigations" into the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has long criticized bodies like the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights as "biased."