Lima Group Statement on Venezuela
August 8, 2018
The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, members of the Lima Group, urge the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to conduct an independent, exhaustive, transparent and impartial investigation into the events of August 4, during the 81st anniversary of the establishment of the Bolivarian National Guard, with full respect for the rule of law and human rights.
In view of the recent repressive actions undertaken against members of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the signatories to the statement:
- disavow any attempt to manipulate the August 4 incident to persecute and quell political dissent;
- strongly condemn and reject the violation of due criminal process and international norms in matters of law enforcement and respect for human rights, in the arbitrary and illegal detention without any previous investigation of National Assembly representative, Juan Carlos Requesens, as well as the arrest warrant issued against National Assembly representative, Julio Borges. This is in open violation of their parliamentary privileges and immunities, which are enshrined in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Article 200), as well as the American Convention on Human Rights, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and the Charter of the Organization of American States, among other applicable international instruments;
- express their serious concern about the use of the Venezuelan state security and justice apparatus to persecute political opponents, which indicates, once more, the breakdown of democratic rule and the continued violation of the country’s constitution, contrary to the will of the Venezuelan people;
- reiterate their profound concern for the situation of all political prisoners in Venezuela and demand their immediate release, making an urgent call to the Venezuelan authorities to respect the political guarantees and freedoms of all Venezuelan citizens, as well as call for free, transparent and democratic elections.
The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru reiterating that only Venezuelans can find a solution to the grave crisis affecting their country, reaffirm their commitment to continue taking actions and initiatives aimed at contributing to the restoration of democratic institutions, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Venezuela.
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