Impact | Negative
Civicus Rating | Repressed
On March 30, the Venezuelan government released through the Official Gazette an administrative measure that obliges civil society organizations to register in the Unified Registry of Subjects Obligated by the Organic Law against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism, approved in 2012.
Ruling No. 001-2021 establishes the requirements and procedures to be complied with before the namesake National Office by “those parties whose activity is not regulated by a special law, or who are not subject to any prevention, control, supervision, oversight and monitoring body”. Persons and institutions engaged in activities that may be used to commit money laundering and terrorist financing offenses must also be registered.
More specifically, non-profit organizations are required by Article 6 of the Ruling to submit within 30 days evidence of their creation and authorities, as well as the list of national and foreign organizations donors, the persons benefiting from their activities, and their foreign branches or other entities with which they are associated.
The measure, far from being an isolated action, is part of a pattern of systematic criminalization of civil society organizations that has deepened in the last year. More than 650 organizations issued a joint statement of condemnation, arguing the measure puts at serious risk the beneficiaries whose details must be provided to the Venezuelan State, violates freedom of association and the principle of innocence and legality.