University student killed in Venezuela opposition protest

12 April, 2017, 02:47 | Author: Evan Mason
  • Anna Polga fled political persecution in Caracas and is now a permanent resident in Canada.

Global groups have criticized excessive use of force by police in the recent protests, saying protesters were indiscriminately targeted by tear gas and rubber bullet.

More than 200 people were injured in the demonstration. We will see who gets exhausted first: "us of fighting, or them of repressing", said the deputy speaker of the opposition-majority congress, Freddy Guevara.

The clashes were the latest escalation in an ongoing political crisis in Venezuela in which severe shortages of food and medicine and Maduro's increasingly authoritarian rule have been met by rising protests.

Venezuelan human-rights NGO Foro Penal tweeted Monday that 188 individuals have been arrested since April 4th, when a new wave of massive anti-Maduro protests began, triggered by a legislative coup attempt by the executive-controlled Supreme Court against the opposition-held National Assembly.

The center-right opposition has demanded a referendum on removing Maduro from power, but he has resisted and negotiations have broken down.

Opposition leaders contend the government is steadily spiraling toward authoritarianism.

The protest in Caracas took place at the start of Easter Week, when many Venezuelans typically spend quiet time at home with family or go on vacation, but members of the opposition urged people to take to the streets.

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The opposition is demanding authorities set a date for postponed regional elections. She added that the use of tear gas has been excessive, before starting to cough.

Government officials blame the opposition for inciting violence and detained 18 people Monday.

"The national guard is pummeling thousands of peaceful protestors", Duarte said. One day a small group of young protesters unsuccessfully tried to set fire to a Supreme Court office, and another group snatched a camera from journalists working for pro-government state broadcaster VTV.

Global leaders and the Organization for American States have been ratcheting up pressure on Venezuela to hold general elections, a call Maduro and his allies have condemned as an unjust attempt to intervene in the Andean nation's domestic affairs.

But the crisis deepened on Friday when authorities banned senior opposition figure Henrique Capriles from holding public office for 15 years, blocking him from running against Maduro in next year's election.

"The existence of isolated acts of violence during protests can not justify a blank restriction of the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression or the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against demonstrators", the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said Tuesday.

"The repression is not an invention of the media".

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