Dozens Hurt, 1 Dead In Violent Day Of Protests In Venezuela

Marsha Scott
May 12, 2017

It said 11,466 babies died in 2016, up from 8,812 the year before.

Confirmed malaria cases in 2016 stood at 240,000, a 76% increase over 2015.

The collapse in prices for Venezuela's crucial oil exports has left it short of cash to import medicine and basic goods.

In March, Venezuela's Medical Federation said hospitals had less than 5 percent of the medicine needed to properly treat patients.

Protesters' motivation was boosted at the beginning of May when Maduro announced he would call up a constituent assembly to rewrite the country's constitution.

"These kids live in a dictatorship, they have no other option but to protest however they see fit", said Maria Montilla, 49, behind lines of youths with masks, slingshots and makeshift wooden shields.

Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro will attempt to march to the Supreme Court to protest its decision to gut the opposition-controlled congress of its powers, a ruling that was quickly rescinded under a barrage of worldwide criticism but that set off weeks of political unrest that have left some three dozens killed.

The youths hurled stones and the so-called "poopootov cocktails" at National Guard troops who blocked their route through the center of the capital city.

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Two more people, 27-year-old communications student Miguel Castillo and 32-year-old Anderson Dugarte, a motorbike taxi driver, have perished in Venezuela's antigovernment protests, DW reported.

A senior Venezuelan official accused anti-government protesters of resorting to "chemical weapons" by throwing human excrement at riot police in their latest demonstrations.

Meanwhile, fellow opposition Mayor Gerardo Blyde of the capital municipality of Baruta, told reporters that 84 people were given medical treatment there, "the majority of them for injuries with blunt objects and. a third of them for asphyxia and one death", referring to Castillo. Some demonstrators complained that police did not protect them from these pro-government forces.

Protestors in Venezuela are adopting a messy new tactic to voice their ongoing opposition to president Nicolás Maduro.

Human rights activists say more than 250 detained protesters have been put before military justice over the last week - a sudden upsurge in use of a practice they say violates the constitution, which limits military courts to "offenses of a military nature".

Maduro has the public backing of the military high command - a decisive factor in the political crisis, analysts say.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said last week that dozens of officers had been detained for "expressing discontent" and said Thursday the nation's military is "profoundly unhappy" with the government.

They said in a statement that under the constitution "the people must be tried by regular judges".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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