Toll in Venezuela’s violent protests rises to 39

Toll in Venezuela’s violent protests rises to 39

The death toll in the violent Venezuelan protests has increased to 39 after one more person was killed amid escalating tensions provoked by the government’s call to rewrite the Constitution.

Miguel Castillo, 27, died during demonstration in Las Mercedes, the Public Ministry announced on Wednesday, adding that an investigation into his death is underway.

Security forces used tear gas on Wednesday to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters who were marching along the capital’s main highway en route to the Supreme Court, Efe news reported.

A group of demonstrators responded by hurling stones, containers of paint and jars of excrement at the troops.

At least 177 people were injured during the demonstration that developed in eastern Caracas, officials said.

On Wednesday, the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office reported in a statement the death of Anderson Dugarte, a 32-year-old mototaxi driver who was shot in the head on Monday at a demonstration in western Merida state.

Dugarte died on Wednesday in a hospital in Merida.

The demonstrations besetting Venezuela, both for and against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, have also left almost 2,000 under arrest.

The ruling socialist party and the right-wing opposition have been locked in a bitter power struggle, causing violent anti-government protests that have killed 37 people since April 1.

On May 1, Maduro called for the creation of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution as a way out of the political impasse.

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