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Latino Daily News

Sunday March 23, 2014

Protest-Related Deaths Roll Rises in Venezuela

Protest-Related Deaths Roll Rises in Venezuela

Photo: Venezuelan protest (@claudiamojito)

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Two more citizens have been gunned down in Venezuela over the past few hours in acts of violence related to protests that have gone on here for over a month, a number of sources said.

In the western Venezuelan city of San Cristobal, acting-Mayor Sergio Vergara confirmed to Efe the death Friday night of Wilfredo Rey, a municipal transport driver who died around midnight after being hit by a bullet.

Vergara blamed the killing on pro-government armed groups known as “collectives,” which were aiding official security forces when they stormed protesters’ barricades in the neighborhoods of Sucre and Libertador, though he confessed he did not know the details of the shooting.

He also said an undetermined number of people had been wounded.

Meanwhile the daily El CarabobeƱo reported Saturday the slaying of Argenis Hernandez, 26, who was shot by a motorist in the municipality of San Diego, Carabobo state.

The daily Notitarde in the same state said that Hernandez was with a group of protesters around a barricade when a motorist tried to drive over the obstacles they had piled on the road. When the driver was warned to stop and go back, he opened fire.

The killings occurred in the municipalities of the two opposition mayors who were arrested this week.

The mayor of San Cristobal, Daniel Ceballos, and of San Diego, Vicenzo Scarano, were jailed this week because of the barricades maintained in those municipalities for over a month.

Scarano was sentenced Wednesday by the Supreme Court to 10 months and 15 days in prison for failing to heed a ruling obliging him to remove the barricades mounted by those protesting against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Ceballos was arrested after a warrant was issued against him on charges of “civil rebellion” and “conspiracy to commit crime” for his alleged involvement in the protests.

According to official figures, the protests since last Feb.12 have left 31 dead, more than 450 wounded and close to 2,000 arrested, of whom 121 remain in jail.

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