Dozens hurt, 1 dead in violent day of protests in Venezuela

Kristopher Drake
May 12, 2017

Venezuelan military courts have ordered the detention of at least 50 civilians involved in the deadly mass protests against the embattled government of President Nicolas Maduro, a non-governmental organization said today.

A recent report released by the Health Ministry says that the number of women who died in childbirth in 2016 reached 756.

Some deaths have been linked to opposition and pro-government protests, while others happened during acts of vandalism unrelated to the political unrest. And confirmed cases of malaria in the country increased 76 percent from the year before.

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

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Dozens of protesters have been injured in Venezuela's capital and a 27-year-old man has died in another day of violent clashes during demonstrations demanding elections. A group of demonstrators responded by hurling stones, containers of paint and jars of excrement at the troops. The opposition blames President Nicolas Maduro for the crisis and has been calling for an early election.

At least 93 people were injured in Caracas and demonstrator Miguel Castillo was killed. Some demonstrators complained that police did not protect them from these pro-government forces.

"It's a trick to keep themselves in power", said Julio Borges, leader of the National Assembly legislature where the opposition won a majority in 2015.

Protesters have been met by oppressive police tactics, including one incident of a tank rolling over a protester.

Anti-government protesters take to the streets
Anti-government protesters take to the streets

"We are using those "poopootov" bombs as we call them because they repress us with Molotov cocktails, with pellet guns and everything, and this is our only way to throw something at them", one protester told AFP.

Foro Penal says the military courts were a way for authorities to try cases that she had dismissed.

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".

Protesters last Friday attacked the town hall and knocked down a statue of late president Hugo Chavez, Maduro's mentor.

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

Alfredo Romero, an attorney with Foro Penal, told AFP that numerous detainees were arrested for robbery but face charges such as rebellion and contempt.

Opposition leaders said 200 of those were being processed by military tribunals in Carabobo state.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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