On October 26th, 2020, the brothers Silvia Margarita Sandoval Armas and Rafael David Sandoval Armas, 72 and 73 years old respectively, were found dead and in a state of malnutrition inside their residence in the Villa II complex, located in Puente Hierro, municipality of Libertador de Caracas.
The elderly were found in their apartment by the Caracas Fire Department, after not being seen by their neighbors for several days. According to officials, Rafael Sandoval had been dead approximately 24 to 36 hours and his sister for more than 48 hours. The Forensic Medicine Institute of Bello Monte verified that the cause of his death was the result of protein-calorie malnutrition.
Mr. and Mrs. Sandoval lived alone and supported themselves financially through the Social Security pension and the CLAP food allowance. The amount of the Social Security pension is only Bs. 400,000, less than 1 USD per month.
According to the survey of living conditions of the Convite Civil Association, 6 out of 10 older adults in Venezuela obtain their food through the CLAP bag, 65% of them receive the subsidized products every two or three months. The survey also reported that 32% of the older adults surveyed eat protein only once a month Furthermore, the last Living Conditions Survey (Encovi), assured that 79.3% of citizens in Venezuela are submerged in extreme poverty and that 96.2% are poor and do not have the income to feed themselves adequately .
Of special concern to this Commissioner is the critical situation of the elderly in Venezuela. The negligence that characterizes the Venezuelan regime violates the rights enshrined in Article 80 of our Constitution, which compels the State to respect the human dignity of the elderly and to guarantee them social security benefits that will enhance and ensure their quality of life.
The Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights and Care of Victims denounces to the international community and public opinion the manifestly contrary character of the regime on the human rights recognized in our Constitution and in international covenants signed and ratified by the Republic, which are the result of the negligence of the usurping government and in violation of the rights of the elderly in Venezuela. This commissioner reiterates to the authorities who hold de facto power its obligation to ensure that the elderly have an active and healthy aging and that they receive social security that allows them to satisfy their economic, social, and cultural rights, recognizing that the person, as he or she ages, must continue to enjoy a full, independent, and autonomous life, with health, security, integration, and active participation in all spheres of society.