Venezuela's Supreme Court Gives Opposition Mayor 15-Month Jail Term

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The constituents also approved Tuesday during their second session a decree of coexistence with the state's public powers, reiterating that they will not replace the National Assembly that is now led by the opposition.

The constitutional assembly's meeting Tuesday came as criticism mounted from foreign governments that have refused to recognize the new body. Opposition delegates were not allowed to enter the building while the pro-government assembly convened to pass decrees in support of Maduro.

To work around the Parliament, where the opposition is in the majority since the beginning of 2016, it installed Saturday for a constituent Assembly, can dissolve the Parliament and rewrite the Constitution of the deceased Hugo Chavez, president from 1999 to 2013. The Opposition and his critics, however, view it as a way to wield more authoritative power over the administration.

Highly concerned that recent developments in Venezuela could lead to further escalation of tensions and hamper a peaceful solution to the crisis, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres again on Tuesday urged the Government and the opposition to relaunch negotiations for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.

The UN human rights office, in preliminary findings based on 135 interviews in Panama and from Geneva in June and July, said it had investigated 124 deaths, and found at least 46 attributable to security forces and 27 to pro-government armed groups, with the rest unclear.

At the same time, almost 2,000 people have been injured, while more than 5,050 people have been arbitrarily arrested, with over 1,000 reportedly still in detention, it said.

Some 130 people have been killed in protest-related clashes in Venezuela over the past four months.

Ramon Muchacho, the mayor of the upscale Caracas municipality of Chacao, was one of a group of opposition mayors who had been threatened with arrest for failing to prevent street protests in their jurisdictions.

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Maduro on Tuesday called for a "dialogue of respect" with neighbouring countries which have been critical of Maduro after the implementation of a government-backed Constituent Assembly.

Muchacho's whereabouts were not immediately known, but he denounced the ruling on Twitter, saying that "all of the weight of the revolutionary injustice has fallen on my shoulders" for doing his job to guarantee the constitutional right to protest.

The organization's investigators were unable to determine who was responsible for the other deaths.

The team said violations included "house raids, torture and ill-treatment of those detained in connection with the protests".

Colombia's Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, along with foreign ministers and representatives from across the Americas, gives a news conference after a meeting to discuss the Venezuelan crisis, in Lima, Peru, August 8, 2017.

Meanwhile, leaders from the Bolivarian Alliance, a leftist coalition of 11 Latin American nations, met in Caracas and declared Venezuela's constitutional assembly a "sovereign act" aimed at helping the nation overcome its difficulties.

Peru's president has been vocal in rejecting the new Venezuelan assembly, but the region has had trouble agreeing on collective actions. Still, Venezuela is facing mounting pressure and threats of deepening sanctions from trade partners.

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