University student killed in Venezuela opposition protest

Venezuelan authorities on Tuesday were investigating the death of a university student killed by gunfire at a protest against President Nicolas Maduro

Daniel Queliz, 20, was killed late Monday after being shot in the neck in Valencia, a city east of Caracas where students have actively participated in the protests that erupted April 1.

It was not immediately clear where the bullet came from, though opposition leaders quickly decried the death as another example of the Venezuelan government's excessive use of force in countering protests. Security forces have been using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, while several opposition leaders have been roughed up and bloodied while participating in demonstrations.

Human rights organizations, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and countries including the United States are calling on Venezuela to allow protesters to gather and refrain from unnecessary use of force, adding to mounting international pressure for Nicolás Maduro’s government to hold elections and respect democratic institutions.

Members of the opposition-controlled National Assembly showed up at the National Guard's headquarters in Caracas early Tuesday to deliver a document denouncing the government excessive response to the protests. Speaking directly to officers at the National Guard's entrance, National Assembly president Julio Borges said they could decide either to be the heirs of independence leader Simon Bolivar or "the bodyguards of Nicolas Maduro."

Back