CARACAS – Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said on Monday that 121 people have lost their lives and another 1,958 have been injured in the ongoing wave of anti-government protests that began on April 1.
“In the last four months, we have a regrettable result: 121 people dead, 121 Venezuelans who have lost their lives. (And) 1,958 injured, in all kinds of ways: serious, very serious,” said the Public Ministry chief at a press conference.
Of the 121 fatalities, Ortega said that 10 lost their lives on Sunday, when the election for the constitutional assembly convened by President Nicolas Maduro was held to select the several hundred representatives who will draft a new constitution.
Ortega said that she did not recognize the results of the election.
However, she said that there had also been an “alarming” number of violent acts quite apart from the wave of protests, adding that over the past four years the figures in the area of public safety have been of great concern and stating that “the stability of a country is measured by its homicide rate.”
She said that there have been “systematic violations of human rights that should concern us all, especially this Public Ministry, ... which I as attorney general and as a citizen will not tolerate ... and will continue to denounce.”
She said that during 2016, Venezuela registered 21,752 murders, a rate of 70 per 100,000 residents, a figure significantly lower than the Venezuelan Violence Observatory (OVV), a non-governmental organization, reported late last year.
The OVV last December reported 28,479 murders in Venezuela in 2016, an increase over the 27,785 reported in 2015 and a murder rate of 91.8 per 100,000.