jueves, 13 de febrero de 2014

Three killed in student protests in Venezuela

Three people were killed during demonstrations in Venezuela on 12 February, reportedly after armed individuals shot at crowds consisting mostly of students and civilians opposed to the socialist Government of President Nicolás Maduro. The victims included a plain-clothes policeman apparently protesting in support of the Government, and ministers swiftly blamed "fascist hordes" for the violence and deaths, Europa Press reported on 13 February. The policeman and one student were said to have been shot by suspected members of the 23 January group - a pro-government militia - who began firing at demonstrators marching toward or outside the Public Ministry or state prosecution service in Caracas, though Europa Press observed witness accounts were "confused." Spain's EFE agency reportedly observed a group of protesters detaching itself from the main crowd outside the Public Ministry, before starting to vandalise the building and harass policemen there. The third victim was killed during protests in the district of Chacao east of Caracas. The marches were ostensibly to mark Venezuelan Youth Day (Día de la Juventud Venezolana), but took on an anti-Government tenor. One of the country's opposition leaders and march organiser, Leopoldo López, blamed the Government for the violence, saying "they had to create the film they finally turned into reality today. The authors of the violence, of deaths, of the injured, are those governing, which is why we are blaming" President Maduro. The Government accused López of fomenting violence and ordered him arrested, El Universal reported. López said the marches were by a people "that wants a  better Venezuela...we are millions, we have to be clear on that" and marches would continue, Europa Press and local papers reported. The official AVN news agency showed pictures of youthful demonstrators, some with covered faces, and of López  addressing protesters, citing these as showing "how Fascism demonstrated in Caracas." Around 70 were reported arrested in Caracas. El Universal also reported 26 injuries and 45 arrests in protests on 12 February in the city of Barquisimeto.