The death of three young men in Venezuela has raised the official number of victims to 55 in protest against the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

MIGUEL GUTIERREZ / EPA

The death of three Venezuelan youths has raised the official death toll from the government of President Nicolás Maduro, who has been registered in several regions of the country for almost eight weeks. “To date there are 55 people who have died from acts of violence, including 52 civilians and 3 police and military officers,” said Attorney General Luísa Ortega Díaz.

She said that 1,000 people had been injured in protests since April 1, 771 of whom are civilians and 229 are agents of the authority, adding that 346 properties were looted or burned. “More than half of the people were injured due to the use of force by state security organizations,” he denounced during a press conference in Caracas, where no questions from journalists were allowed.

Luísa Ortega Díaz said that the Public Ministry opened 1,479 investigations into acts of violence, that 19 agents of the authority were accused of violation of the fundamental rights and that there are 18 orders of detention to execute. During the press conference, Luísa Díaz appealed to Venezuelan politicians to refrain from mentioning the causes of the deaths during the protests, as it is the competence of the Public Prosecutor’s Office to carry out the necessary investigations. The prosecutor also questioned the trial of civilians by the military justice system, which asked them to disclose the number of detainees as well as the state of health in which they are.

The PGR also referred to the groups of armed motorcyclists who are members of the regime, which the opposition accuses of acting under the protection of the security forces and the government and which even prevented opposition demonstrations. “There are 16 investigations open to armed groups outside the law,” he said. On looting of commercial establishments, he said there was a record of involvement of police and military officers.

On May 1, President Nicolas Maduro called on Venezuelans to elect a National Constituent Assembly to justify preserving the peace and stability of the Republic, including a new economic system, security, diplomacy and cultural identity.

According to Nicolás Maduro, as part of his “constitutional attributions” is the reform of the Venezuelan state, modify the legal order, allowing the convocation to draft a new Constitution. The convocation intensified the holding of demonstrations for and against President Nicolás Maduro.

 

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