2 young men killed as chaos erupts in western Venezuela

Vincent Carr
May 19, 2017

Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States and one of President Nicolas Maduro's harshest worldwide critics, called for the government to be held to account over the deaths.

Demonstrators stand next to a bus burns near a protest against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, May 13, 2017. Hundreds more have been injured in near-daily demonstrations by the opposition that frequently end with state security unleashing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets at protesters.

Outside the capital, there were reports of clashes between protesters and national guardsmen in Colon, in western Venezuelan near the border with Colombia.

At least 38 people have been killed and hundreds injured in protests that erupted after the Supreme Court issued a ruling on March 29 nullifying the opposition-controlled National Assembly - a decision the court later reversed amid a storm of global criticism and outrage among Venezuelans. A police officer in Carabobo is also in critical condition after being shot in the head. In Lara, a vehicle ran over three protesters.

The violence added to mounting bloodshed as Venezuela's opposition vows to step up near-daily demonstrations and as Maduro shows no intention of conceding to opposition demands.

A 17-year-old boy and two men died in Venezuela after being shot during anti-government protests, prosecutors said Tuesday, bringing to 42 the number of people killed in six weeks of unrest. Polls show the great majority of Venezuelans want Maduro gone as violent crime soars and the country falls into economic ruin.

The European Union on Monday called for elections in its most outspoken statement yet on the Venezuela crisis.

The Organization of American States will hold another special session to discuss Venezuela's spiraling political crisis later this month.

Image Venezuelan opponents travel in caravans in protest against the government
Protesters travel in a caravan during an opposition demonstration in Caracas on Saturday. Miguel Gutierrez EPA

An especially grisly 24 hours of turmoil coming after almost two months of political unrest had nervous residents staying indoors in restive cities like San Cristobal near the border with Colombia.

Venezuela announced in late April that it would be leaving the OAS, a regional body that Maduro contends the OAS is meddling in Venezuela's domestic affairs, infringing on its sovereignty and trying to remove him from power.

Critics of the president argue Maduro is increasingly dictatorial and plans to staff the assembly with supporters and avoid elections he would likely lose during a crushing recession in the oil-producing country.

In Caracas, demonstrators assembled a giant rosary with balloons hanging from a highway overpass.

"We are against this fraudulent process", Capriles said on his radio broadcast.

"The EU also recalls that the use of military courts to try civilians goes against global law, " the EU said in a statement.

President Maduro has accused the leader of the opposition-led National Assembly, Julio Borges, of inciting violence by calling people on to the streets.

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Other reports by BadHub

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