Teenage protester and guardsmen killed as Venezuela unrest continues
Opposition protests in Venezuela have taken a deadly turn again after a teenager was killed at a march demanding an end to the government’s push to rewrite the struggling nation’s constitution.
Hours later, the body of a national guardsman was found in a residential neighbourhood in eastern Caracas.
Hundreds of national guardsmen and police officers fired tear gas at protesters a day after Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez called for members of the military to refrain from excessive use of force.
Videos circulating on social media showed paramedics trying to resuscitate a lifeless young man as he bled profusely from his chest. The office of the public ombudsman, an agency of the national government, tweeted late on Wednesday that an autopsy had determined the youth was struck by a homemade explosive.
Opposition leaders identified the young man as 17-year-old Neomar Lander, and his relatives said he had gone with family members to demonstrate peacefully.
“I’m going to keep fighting,” said the teenager’s uncle, Mauro Arellano.
Residents banged on pots and pans for an hour in protest as night fell near the site of his death. Stores were closed and streets empty long before dark in a usually bustling part of the capital.
About 1.5 miles away, authorities found the body of William Jose Mendoza, a sergeant with the national guard, Caracas-area mayor Ramon Muchacho said.