jueves, 20 de febrero de 2014

Six dead in week of Venezuelan protests, including beauty queen

The death toll in protests in Venezuela from 12 to 20 February was put at six, with numerous injuries and 35 demonstrators said to be in custody on 19 February. One of the fatalities was Génesis Carmona, a student and Miss Turismo Venezuela in 2013, shot and injured late on 18 February during protests in the northern city of Valencia, later dying in hospital, Spain's El País reported. Another victim was a pro-government worker shot on 19 February in a march in the southern state of Bolívar, though the Interior Minister said it was not clear who shot him, America Economía reported, citing EFE. The daily El Universal reported that 109 protesters detained earlier were freed by 20 February and 24 were released with charges pending. A popular story on 20 February in the Spanish daily El Mundo was on severe beatings and sexual-type abuse to which one or two students were subjected after they were arrested in protests in Valencia on 13 February. One 21-year-old student told the daily that he and another student were kept for over 50 hours in custody before facing a judge, in which time he was beaten so much he pretended to have died. He said soldiers or police then put a rifle tip in his anus to check whether or not he was conscious. A judge later ordered his provisional release with charges pending. The student told El Mundo he heard "Cuban accents" in the barracks where he was kept, suggesting the presence of Cuban advisers. Separately, the opposition politician Leopoldo López detained on 18 February, would remain in jail until he was to be tried on charges including criminal conspiracy and inciting violence, El Nacional reported on 20 February, citing comments posted on Twitter by Mrs López.