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Lima Group declaration - May 9, 2019

The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, members of the Lima Group, express their rejection of the decision of the illegitimate National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela to arbitrarily remove the parliamentary immunity of the members of the National Assembly—Edgar Zambrano Ramírez, Henry Ramos Allup, Luis Germán Florido, Mariela Magallanes López, José Simón Calzadilla Peraza, Américo De Grazia, Juan Andrés Mejía, Freddy Superlano, Sergio Vergara and Richard José Blanco Delgado—for their efforts toward the restoration of the democratic institutionality of Venezuela.

We categorically reject the arbitrary arrest of Edgar Zambrano, Member of Parliament and First Vice-President of the National Assembly, who was forcefully taken on Wednesday night to the headquarters of the political police of Nicolás Maduro, at the order of General Gustavo González López, who has been sanctioned.

The removal of parliamentary immunity represents an illegitimate and unconstitutional act, since, according to the Venezuelan constitution, the only body that can remove parliamentary immunity is the National Assembly. The breach of this prerogative without due process by a spurious authority, such as the National Constituent Assembly, constitutes a violation of democratic principles and human rights recognized in international law.

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