February 27, 2014
Fifteen dead, dozens injured, some 500 arrested and denunciations of torture, illegal repression by security forces and irregular groups and attacks on the press are the fruits of over two weeks of political confrontation in the streets of some 30 Venezuelan cities.
The state “has tossed the United Nations basic principles on the use of force and firearms [approved in Havana in 1990] into the waste bin, with regulatory bodies like the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office treating them with contempt,” Marino Alvarado, coordinator of the human rights organisation Provea, told IPS.
“In the absence of the state, parapolice bands control certain urban spaces, call themselves collectives and act as an armed wing of the government…” — Luis Cedeño of Paz Activa
According to eye-witnesses, press investigations and videos circulating on the social networks, several protesters were shot to death by plain-clothes police, by armed groups that intimidated protesters and initiated violent incidents, or by pellets allegedly fired by members of the militarised Bolivarian National Guard.