On July 11, the United States sanctioned the Maduro-aligned General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, known as DGCIM, for operating in Venezuela’s defense and security sector, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended.

The DGCIM has been implicated in a variety of human rights violations and abuses, most recently in the July 5 report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as earlier reports by the Organization of American States and Human Rights Watch, among other organizations. The reported abuses include intimidation, arbitrary arrest, torture, forced confessions, and brutal methods inflicting harm on detainees.

The United States is taking this action to impose costs on Maduro-aligned officials for these abuses, in particular for their recent actions leading to the killing of Venezuelan Navy Captain Rafael Acosta. The heartbreaking pleas and reported visible signs of torture of Captain Acosta at a public hearing and his subsequent death on June 29 left no doubt of the extent of the DGCIM’s vicious attacks on the military.

The United States will continue to take action in support of the liberation of the Venezuelan people from the repression of Maduro and his security forces and until they are able to live again in a democracy.

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