Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, ANC, has met with diverse social movements from across the country — including communications and transportation workers and Afro-Venezuelan women’s groups — to discuss a new anti-hate law introduced by the political body.
The new legislation works to combat hate crimes involving religion, race, political beliefs, gender and sexuality, particularly those committed by right-wing opposition forces.
“We want a law that looks out for all Venezuelans, that is not biased,” ANC First Vice President Elvis Amoroso said.
“What we seek is a law that can be immediately applied so as to serve the administration of justice, with few articles, and be truly conclusive. It will have a regulation and a commission that will be named through the same law to mobilize the actions of its application.”
Thus far, the law contains 13 articles, six of which correspond to the object, values and principles of the legislation.
The legislation was proposed by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who said its main goal was to eradicate acts of hate based on a victim's race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation and/or political affiliation. It also seeks dialogue to achieve lasting peace in the South American country.
Under the anti-hate crime legislation, perpetrators of “hate and intolerance” could face prison sentences of up to 25 years. Officials who have participated directly or indirectly in hate crimes will also be punished.
The ANC’s Truth, Justice and Reparation Commission for Victims will review cases of violence going back several years to bring justice to those who have been targeted for being poor, Black or Chavista.
“Venezuela will set an example and it will be in the vanguard in terms of regulations that will control the emission of messages that seek hatred, civil war, intolerance, confrontation and conflict,” ANC President Delcy Rodriguez said.
ANC members have broken into six teams and will be traveling throughout the country, meeting with Venezuelans of all sectors, to address questions and concerns about the bill.