On Thursday 11, the president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Justice Gilmar Mendes, received the activists from Venezuela Lilian Tintori and Antonieta López, respectively the wife and mother of Leopoldo López, an opposition leader arrested in that country. Brazilian human rights lawyer Fernando Tibúrcio also participated in the meeting .
Lilian and Antonieta travel the world to report human rights violations and ask for support for a negotiated solution to the Venezuelan crisis.
During the meeting with the president of the TSE, they reported cases of repression and violence against opposition protesters, and reiterated the importance of respect for human rights and the prompt holding of the elections already postponed by the government.
In this regard, Lilian Tintori thanked Justice Gilmar Mendes for the letter sent to the UNASUR Electoral Council, which calls for the inclusion of the Venezuelan issue in the Council’s agenda.
Justice Gilmar Mendes expressed his solidarity for the family of Leopoldo López and reiterated his concern about Venezuela's democratic and electoral situation, highlighting the need to establish an electoral calendar as soon as possible.
In his letter to UNASUR, the president of the TSE emphasized that the situation in that country represents important challenges to democracy, the division of powers, rule of law and human rights.
"We understand that the matter should be treated in the cordial, friendly and constructive manner that characterizes the South American dialogue," he said, noting also the importance of fundamental guarantees such as freedom of expression, opinion and peaceful demonstration, as well as the granting of freedom to political prisoners and ensuring full independence of powers. These requirements, he said, are essential for legitimacy and electoral truth.
This is the second time that Justice Gilmar Mendes receives Lilian Tintori, who was in Brazil in 2015 to report on the same situation. She also met on Thursday with President Michel Temer, who issued a statement expressing concern about the situation in Venezuela and said that Brazil is ready to provide humanitarian aid to the neighboring country, which faces an economic crisis, with the lack of medicines and food.