Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

News

Constitutional Law against Hatred

The Constitutional Law against Hatred, for Peaceful Coexistence and Tolerance was published in Official Gazette No. 41.276,  dated  November 10, 2017 (“the Law”). The purpose of the Law is to assure the effective exercise of human rights, favor people’s individual and collective development, preserve the peace and protect the nation.   

 

The Law contains certain particular provisions for the media (Chapter III), which include print media’s, radio or television broadcasters’ obligation to disseminate messages promoting peace, tolerance, equality, respect, and diversity. Likewise, a prohibition is established against the dissemination of any  propaganda in favor of war and any apology for racial, ethnic, religious, political, social, ideological, gender or another kind of hatred in print media, radio, television, electronic and social media.

 

The Law also decrees  the creation of a Commission for Promotion and Assurance of Peaceful Coexistence (Comisión para la Promoción y Garantía de la Convivencia Pacífica),  entrusted with the establishment of the public policies intended to promote recognition of diversity, tolerance, respect, etc., as well as with the eradication  of any form of violence, hatred, and intolerance. 

 

Also, the Law establishes the following penalties:

  • Promotion of or Incitement to Hatred: Any person who publicly or through any means capable of public dissemination promotes hatred, discrimination or violence against a person or group of persons because they actually or allegedly belong to a social, ethnic, religious, political, gender,  group, etc.  will be penalized with imprisonment ranging between 10 and 20 years.
  • Aggravating Circumstance on Grounds of Hatred and Intolerance: Any crime committed by reason of the victim’s being part of an ethnic, social, religious, political group, etc. will be penalized with the maximum limit of the penalty established for the relevant crime.
  • Penalty for  Dissemination of Messages in Favor of Hatred and War: Any radio or television service provider that disseminates propaganda in favor of war or hatred will be penalized with the revocation of the concession. In the cases of social media and electronic media, the messages that promote  hatred or war must be withdrawn within a period of 6 hours; otherwise a fine ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 Tax Units  will be imposed and their sites will be blocked.
  • Refusal to Provide Spaces for Promotion of Peace:  Any radio or television service provider that fails to perform the obligation to provide spaces free of charge for the dissemination of messages promoting peace, respect, and tolerance will be penalized with a fine ranging from 3% to 4% of the gross income accrued in the fiscal year immediately preceding the infringement.
  • Penalties for  Abstention, Omission or Obstruction: Any police officer who in the exercise of his/her functions voluntarily fails to prevent the commission of any of the crimes indicated above will be penalized with imprisonment ranging from 8 to 10 years, as well as any health personnel that voluntarily refrain from  providing attention to a person for reasons of hatred or discrimination. 

 

The Law: (i) establishes the inapplicability of the statute of limitations to the aforesaid  crimes; (ii) repeals any provision conflicting with the same; and (iii) establishes that in the event of doubts in its interpretation or application, the option that provides greatest protection to human rights will be used.

 

The Law entered into force on November 10, 2017.

 

In order to access the Law, please click here.

 

 

“NOTE: THIS INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY SPECIFIC MATTER AND ITS CONTENT ARE INTENDED AS A MANAGEMENT ALERT AS TO CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN VENEZUELA, ANY SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF NEW OR PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO PARTICULAR SITUATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO TRAVIESO EVANS ARRIA RENGEL & PAZ.”