Back in February, I discussed the fact that Venezuela’s Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Díaz, complained about what she painted as INTERPOL’s unfair treatment of Venezuela’s request for Red Notices against a certain group of people. Specifically, she argued that Venezuela’s requests for Red Notices were being denied for people charged with crimes related to the banking industry. She rejected the idea that the requests were politically based.
In response to this complaint, INTERPOL’s Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble, made an official visit to Venezuela to address the issues raised by Ms. Ortega Díaz. This visit was unprecedented. An INTERPOL Secretary General has never visited Venezuela in an official capacity before, according to INTERPOL.
Noble’s visit to Venezuela was reported in its news, but the ultimate reaction of the Venezuelan government to the visit remains to be seen. Obviously, the Venezuelan government hopes that INTERPOL will revise its previous denials of Red Notices, and its Attorney General is reported to have said that she expects just that.
Why is INTERPOL so concerned about Venezuela’s complaints?
Perhaps INTERPOL is extremely sensitive to Ms. Ortega Díaz’ feelings. More likely, INTERPOL is interested in at least maintaining a relationship with Venezuela, both as a member country and especially given Venezuela’s geographic location and potential role in anti-drug trafficking efforts. Venezuela has made some recent, public efforts to cooperate with INTERPOL’s mission to combat the illegal drug trade, even if some of those efforts may be less than completely altruistic.
Whether a revision of decisions to deny past Red Notice requests will result from the meeting, however, is not so clear from the press release issued by INTERPOL. The press statement reads as more of an explanation and defense of decisions than an indication of possible reconsideration.
Next time: INTERPOL’s defense of its decisions on Venezuelan Red Notice requests.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.