Venezuelan national police officers Bogado and Bello pose with their riot equipment (Photo:Reuters)
Eight Venezuelan police officers have been detained and face prosecution after videotape emerged of them apparently executing a suspected criminal as the bodies of three others lay on the ground, officials said Friday.
The officers will be charged in a court in northern Aragua state for their alleged roles in the death of the four men, aged between 21 and 35.
The officers were arrested Friday afternoon at the request of prosecutors. The dead men allegedly had ties to organized crime.
Secretly recorded video footage began circulating online this week of the incident that occurred August 5 in the municipality of Girardot, according to Aragua governor Tarek El Aissami, who condemned the crime and blamed it on "despicable and biased policing".
Shaky footage shows the bodies of three men on the ground. A fourth man is brought outside, his arms held by officers, then a gunshot rings out and he falls to the ground.
Crime is rampant in Venezuela and security forces are trying to carry out a nationwide clampdown on criminal gangs.
According to Venezuelan rights group Provea, at least 189 extrajudicial executions took place in the country last year that were believed to have been carried out by security forces.