Pro-Maduro militia suppress Venezuela democracy demos | News | DW | 11.05.2017
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Pro-Maduro militia suppress Venezuela democracy demos

Two more people have been confirmed dead in demonstrations in Venezuela. At least 93 people were injured in Caracas on Wednesday.

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More protesters killed in Venezuela unrest

Venezuela's national guard on Wednesday launched tear gas at protesters and an armed pro-government militia met unarmed pro-democracy marchers en route to the Supreme Court.

"Who are we?" the protesters chanted in the capital, Caracas. "Venezuela! What do we want? Freedom!" 

It was at that point that the militia approached dressed in dark colors with cloth-covered faces. About three carried guns and one reportedly fired into the air. The protesters fled, screaming in fear.

Later, Venezuela's Public Ministry announced on Twitter that 27-year-old communications student Miguel Castillo had died during a demonstration on the outskirts of Caracas.

Authorities also announced that 32-year-old Anderson Dugarte had died from a gunshot wound he suffered Monday at a protest in Merida. The violence pushed the death toll to 39 in the nearly nonstop street protests and political turmoil since April 4.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles - the governor of Miranda state, where Castillo died - has put the blame for the killings squarely on President Nicolas Maduro: "Another young Venezuelan assassinated for your sick power ambition," he wrote on Twitter.

Homemade weapons

In another incident in Caracas, state security forces used tear gas and water to disperse demonstrators, who threw cans of paint and jars of fecal matter - known in Venezuela as "puputov" coktails - in their direction. Some of the protesters arrived with wooden shields that had images of the nation's constitution, which Maduro has vowed to rewrite.

Demonstrators contend that Maduro's government has become an authoritarian regime responsible for triple-digit inflation, widespread shortages of food and medical supplies, and soaring crime.

Maduro has dismissed the opposition movement as a violent US-backed far-right effort intent on removing him from power. His government has detained more than 1,300 people during the unrest - not including the 250 civilians sent before military tribunals.

mkg/rc (EFE, dpa, AP)

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