Venezuela to charge 11 soldiers over deaths of 12 young civilians

Venezuela's Public Ministry said 11 members of the national army will be charged in connection to the deaths of 12 young civilians whose bodies were found last week in a mass grave in a mountainous area of the Acevedo municipality.

The dozen decomposing corpses are believed to be 12 missing youths who disappeared in October after a Liberation of the People, or OLP, security operation in the Miranda state's city of Barlovento.

OLP is a nationwide effort to battle crime that began in 2015 under President Nicolas Maduro. The Venezuelan opposition, human rights groups and local residents said OLP has led to the killings and arrests of innocent people and to the destruction of private property.

"We are talking about a terrible situation. A situation of generalized violence, because the honest citizen is killed by the underworld or killed by operations like the OLP," opposition leader Jesus Torrealba said during a radio broadcast. "This is not a question of dismissing five, seven, 10, 12, uniformed murderers. The point is that we have to change the criminal policy."