jueves, 11 de abril de 2013

Opposition supporter killed in Venezuela as presidential campaigns close

A campaign coordinator for the opposition candidate in Venezuela's 14 April presidential elections was kidnapped on 8 April and later found dead, while masked men on motorbikes attacked opposition supporters after an event on 10 April, injuring 14, media reported. There was to be no more campaigning or publicity after 11 April. Juan Aranda was a coordinator for the liberal candidate Henrique Capriles Radonsky in Pedro María Ureña in the eastern state of Táchira. The killing was being investigated, although the opposition's local campaign chief Alejandro García said he suspected it was politically motivated. Relatives declared that Aranda and colleagues had earlier crossed a group of government supporters while campaigning locally but no incident had occurred, Colombia's Caracol radio reported on 10 April, citing Venezuela's El Universal. The daily separately reported an attack on opposition supporters after a campaign gathering in the nothern district of Mérida on 10 April. Masked men riding bikes began pushing and beating Capriles supporters as they left a gathering, and police were said to have done nothing, Europa Press and El Universal reported. One witness of the attack was the Archbishop of Mérida Baltazar Porras Cardozo, who observed that police let him know they had been ordered not to intervene against those "wearing red." Capriles told the BBC in Caracas on 10 April that - in spite of a contrary impression among observers - he believed he could win the presidency on 14 April as he was now a "national leader" competing against "a very bad candidate," the Acting President Nicolás Maduro. Capriles lost to Hugo Chávez in the elections of October 2012, but he told the BBC he won 45 per cent of votes then "with less than this force," presumably referring to his current support. He suggested the government could not garner more than six million votes without Chávez, while "my take-off point is seven million votes." Should he win, he said, he would seek to work with, not confront, state institutions he said were currently run by "partial" figures and government appointees. He deplored the "fear" he said government propaganda was sowing, as it sought to "make many people believe they will lose something if Capriles wins. They will lose nothing."

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