In a continuation of the discussion of the current Venezuelan Red Notice situation, I thought it interesting to consider INTERPOL’S public explanation of two matters:  first, the historic visit by Ronald K. Noble, INTERPOL’s Secretary General, to Venezuela early this month, and second, the possible reasons for INTERPOL’s denial of Venezuela’s Red Notice requests.

Why the visit?

In its media release of May 4, 2011, INTERPOL publicized Mr. Noble’s trip to meet with Luisa Ortega Díaz, the Attorney General of Venezuela, with the stated purpose of improving cooperation between the country and the organization, and contained repeated references to INTERPOL’s respect for Venezuela.  The release was carefully crafted to paint a picture of a confined, limited argument, rather than a complete breakdown of relations.

 Mr. Noble emphasized that,

“[t]here are currently more than 100 valid Red Notices issued by INTERPOL on behalf of Venezuela in circulation worldwide.  The decision therefore to refuse specific Red Notices, in a specific catergory of cases and for specific defendants should not be interpreted as any kind of ‘attack’ on Venezuela, but simply that INTERPOL is adhering to its rules.”

INTERPOL also characterized the tiff between it and Venezuela as a “current disagreement between Venezuela and INTERPOL and its independent oversight body, the CCF, on whether INTERPOL should issue Red Notices in a specific category of cases for specific defendants,” and that it should not “be misconstrued as a broader conflict between Venezuela and INTERPOL.” 

Why the denials?

Although it is not specifically stated in the release, INTERPOL certainly implied that previous denials of Red Notice requests were the result of improper requests.  Mr. Noble is quoted as pointing out that INTERPOL’s rules and regulations must be followed in order for one of its tools, such as a Red Notice, to be used.  

INTERPOL also seemed to distance itself from its own Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s files (CCF) by twice referring to the CCF as being “independent,” and referring to the disagreement as being between “Venezuela and INTERPOL and . . . the CCF.”  Perhaps that distance is a means of insulating the CCF from the politically delicate matters that currently require INTERPOL to continue to deal intimately with Venezuela.

Mr. Noble called for more communication between INTERPOL and Venezuela, but did not indicate an intention to back down from previous decisions.  As for the type of communication that is to come, there may be room for concern.  More on that next time.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.