Protests in Venezuela continued on Monday as detractors of President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets, lighting trash on fire and setting up barricades. One man fell to his death after being hit by a bullet from a protest, bringing the total death count of the demonstrations up to 13.
According to the government, more than 500 people have been charged over the demonstrations, although only 45 of those have actually been jailed—the rest were given warnings. The number of injured stands at around 150. Opposition leaders are demanding the release of about a dozen jailed student protesters.
According to Reuters, the protests are the worst in Tachira, one of Venezuela's border states. Improvised roadblocks and tolls have disrupted troops sent in to restore order to the area, and supermarkets are only open in the morning, with limited supplies because of deliveries being unable to pass. The governor of the State has criticized Maduro's handling of the situation in a rare display of dissent.
In addition to the 13 deaths directly attributable to the demonstrations, Maduro said that another 30 have supposedly died from illnesses not properly treated during the protests.
Maduro, for his part, is continuing to present himself as the victim. From The New York Times:
Mr. Maduro says the protesters are fascists conducting a coup against his government. He has largely refused to acknowledge their complaints, focusing instead on violence linked to the unrest. Here in Táchira State, he says the protests are infiltrated by right-wing Colombian paramilitary groups, and he has threatened to arrest the mayor of San Cristóbal.
The White House has urged Maduro to begin a dialogue with the protesters.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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