CARACAS – The Venezuelan Public Ministry reported on Thursday the death of a student at a protest in western Tachira state, raising the death toll in the ongoing wave of anti-government demonstrations to 73.
The Public Ministry said on Twitter that Libertador Experimental Teaching University (UPEL) student Jose Gregorio Perez died during a demonstration in the town of Rubio, and the Attorney General’s Office added shortly thereafter in a statement that, according to preliminary information, the 21-year-old was taking part in a protest when he was shot in the face.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on his Twitter account: “How many Tachira residents have already been murdered? How (Venezuelan President) Nicolas Maduro hates our Tachira! Cruelty against the Tachirans! JUSTICE! Peace to Gregorio’s soul!”
Earlier in the day, the AG’s Office reported the death of 20-year-old Luis Enrique Vera, who was run over by a truck at an anti-government protest in the city of Maracaibo, the capital of western Zulia state and Venezuela’s second-largest city.
The truck was later burned by several demonstrators and police arrested the driver.
Since April 1, Venezuela has been beset by a wave of pro- and anti-government protests, some of which have degenerated into violence that has now left 73 people dead and more than 1,000 injured, according to official figures.