Two Venezuelan men died on Tuesday from gunshots at political demonstrations, bringing to 26 the number of fatalities around this month’s protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government.
Venezuela, Reuters – The state prosecutor’s office said Orlando Medina, 23, was gunned down on a street in western Lara state during a protest local media identified as anti-Maduro.
Luis Marquez, 52, died in the Andean state of Merida in the early morning after being shot on Monday at a pro-Maduro rally, state ombudsman Tarek Saab said.
In more than three weeks of chaos since Venezuela’s opposition launched street protests, 15 people have died in violence around demonstrations and 11 others in night-time lootings, the state prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.
Political activists and Venezuelan media have reported more deaths, but those have not been confirmed.
The ruling Socialist Party accuses foes of seeking a violent coup with US connivance, while the opposition says Maduro is a dictator repressing peaceful protest.
With near-daily demonstrations by both opponents and supporters of Maduro, there have been fatalities on both sides, as well as one National Guard sergeant killed during a protest.
“Any death hurts, government or opposition,” chief state prosecutor Luisa Ortega said in a speech. Four fatalities were adolescents and 437 people had also been injured.
(Additional reporting by Andreina Aponte and Corina Pons; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Grant McCool and Andrew Hay)