Lima group says does not recognize Venezuela's election

Lima (Reuters) - The Lima group of Latin American countries plus Canada issued a statement on Monday saying it did not recognize the legitimacy of Venezuela’s presidential election, which was held the day before amid criticism over alleged irregularities.

The Lima Group includes Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Santa Lucia, Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

The statement said the countries would call their ambassadors back from Caracas for consultations and hold a meeting to coordinate a regional response to outflows of Venezuelans “who have been obligated to abandon their country”.

Venezuela’s leftist leader Nicolas Maduro won a new six-year term in the vote, but his main rivals disavowed the election alleging massive irregularities in a process critics decried as a farce propping up a dictatorship.

Reporting by Mitra Taj, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama