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article imageStudent killed in Venezuela protests: prosecutors

By AFP     Apr 11, 2017 in World

A 19-year-old student died Tuesday after being shot during clashes between Venezuelan police and demonstrators, prosecutors said, the second death in a week at violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro.

Daniel Queliz was shot in the neck as police broke up protesters who want to remove Maduro from office over a spiraling economic and political crisis.

He died early Tuesday in the northern city of Valencia, the state prosecution service said.

It said 40 people will be charged for "acts of violence" in Monday's unrest.

Maduro is fighting efforts to oust him as Venezuela, once a booming oil exporter, flounders through severe shortages and the world's highest rate of inflation.

Monday saw the fifth day of clashes this month in the South American country, home to the world's largest oil reserves.

Venezuelan police clash with opposition activists during a protest against the government of Preside...
Venezuelan police clash with opposition activists during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro on April 6, 2017 in Caracas

Riot police in Caracas and other cities fired tear gas and water cannon at stone-throwing demonstrators, whose leaders vowed to keep up pressure on Maduro.

No major protests were announced for Tuesday but opposition leaders called for huge rallies on April 19.

Maduro supporters staged their own rally Tuesday to mark the anniversary of a short-lived coup against Maduro's predecessor and mentor, the late leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez, in 2002.

"Today the revolution is at risk again. But the Venezuelan people will always be on their feet to defend the legacy of Comandante Chavez," said Maduro supporter Franklin Barrios, 50.

The opposition, which accuses Maduro of installing a dictatorship, is demanding authorities set a date for postponed regional elections.

They also want a referendum on removing Maduro from power.

"All this violence is erupting because they won't let the people have their say via elections," said the speaker of the opposition-majority legislature, Julio Borges, as he hand-delivered a petition to National Guard headquarters calling on police to "stop the repression."

The opposition is also furious at moves to limit the powers of the legislature and ban senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles from politics.

Another 19-year-old man, Jairo Ortiz, died on Thursday after being shot in the chest when police broke up a protest in Caracas. A policeman has been charged over that killing.

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