Practice Relating to Rule 154. Obedience to Superior Orders
Venezuela’s Penal Code (2005) states:
Penalties shall not apply to:
1. Whoever acts fulfilling a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right, position of authority, office or post, without trespassing the law.
Venezuela’s Constitution (2009) states:
The public authorities, whether military, civilian or of any other kind, even during a state of emergency, exception or restriction … are prohibited from committing, permitting or tolerating the forced disappearance of persons. An officer receiving an order or instruction to carry it out, has the obligation not to obey and to report the order or instruction to the competent authorities.
The Constitution further states: “A state of internal or external commotion may be declared in the event of an internal or external [armed] conflict seriously endangering the security of the Nation, its citizens or its institutions.”