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News > Latin America

Venezuelan Social Leader Killed Near Opposition Barricade

  • Venezuelan opposition protesters set up a road block during an anti-government protest.

    Venezuelan opposition protesters set up a road block during an anti-government protest. | Photo: Alba Ciudad

Published 25 April 2017

For weeks, the right-wing opposition has led violent protests across the country demanding the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuelan social justice activist Efrain Sierra Quintero died on Tuesday after he was injured during protests on Monday, Tachira Governor Jose Vielma Mora reported, raising Monday’s death toll to five people.

Here’s Your Guide to Understanding Protest Deaths in Venezuela

Sierra Quintero, 27, was shot in the stomach as people were trying to steal his motorbike close to a barricade set up by opposition protesters, he added. Sierra Quintero was active in pro-worker and pro-government struggles.

“Once more the protests convoked by the opposition in Tachira leaves us with a death toll in the state,” Vielma twitted.

He reported that five more people were injured during the protests, including two military officers.

In the past three weeks of repeated violent opposition protests, hundreds have been injured and at least 27 people have died.

Right-wing opposition leaders have attempted to portray the deaths as examples of state repression and evidence of the “dictatorship” that they are aiming to topple. Most of those killed, however, were actually victims of protester violence.

Fourteen-year-old Brayan Principal, for example, was shot by opposition protesters in the Ali Primera Socialist City after they toppled the main gate of the commune. And Kevin Leon, a 19-year-old bakery worker in the El Valle district of Caracas, was shot by opposition protesters who were vandalizing his workplace.

Although opposition supporters have also been slain amid protests, most of those killed initiated acts of violence against police and civilians across the country.

Up to 437 people have been injured in the protests, according to Attorney General Luisa Ortega.

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