The opposition has issued a statement today calling attention to the forced disappearance of GIlber Caro, a National Assembly deputy who was arrested by the authorities on December 20 and whose whereabouts are unknown. Victor Ugas, his assistance, was arrested alongside him.

In a statement, the opposition points out that Caro has parliamentary immunity, and that as a result his detention is illegal. The same statement decries the fact that Caro was denied access to his lawyers during a preliminary hearing on December 22, as well as the right to choose his own defense team after the court assigned him public defenders against his wishes.

The same statement calls Caro and Ugas’s arrest “forced disappearances”, and argues that they were politically-motivated as part of an ongoing campaign by the Maduro regime to intimidate and neutralize the country’s political opposition.

Caro has been arrested arbitrarily twice. After his January 2017 arrest, Caro spent over a year in prison while the case against him languished through the legal system, and was eventually released as part of a goodwill measure by the Maduro regime in March 2018. Caro was arrested again in April 2019, which resulted in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issuing a protective measure against him. He was eventually released in June.

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