Venezuela says death toll from protests rises to 28

by
March 14, 2014

CARACAS | Venezuela’s state prosecutor said on Thursday the death toll from a month of violent protests had risen to 28, after the nation’s top court ordered opposition mayors to dismantle barricades set up by street protesters.

State prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz, speaking on the sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, also said 1,293 detainees had been released and 104 remained in custody accused of serious crimes during the anti-government demonstrations.

“We need to ensure there is no impunity and it must be fully investigated to determine whether those people held in jail are the authors of those homicides,” she said.

President Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver elected last year to succeed the late Hugo Chavez, has declared victory over a “coup” attempt and does not look in danger of being toppled.

The protesters, some of whom have vowed to stay in the streets until he quits, are demanding political change, and an end of high inflation and crime rates, as well as shortages of basic goods such as milk, flour and cooking oil in stores.

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