Venezuela unrest death toll rises; Chavez statue destroyed

A 20-year-old Venezuelan protester died on Friday after being shot in the head, authorities said, taking fatalities from a month of anti-government unrest to at least 37 as the opposition geared up for more demonstrations.

Hecder Lugo was shot during fighting between demonstrators and security forces in Valencia on Thursday that also injured four others, the local opposition Mayor Enzo Scarano said in a series of tweets.

Another 717 people have been injured and 152 are still in jail from the hundreds rounded up in widespread unrest in Venezuela.

In an incident loaded with symbolism, a handful of young men destroyed a statue of late leader Hugo Chavez in the oil-producing Zulia state, according to videos circulating on social media on Friday evening.

Footage shows the statue, which depicts Chavez saluting and wearing a sash, being yanked down to cheers in a public plaza before it is bashed into a sidewalk and then the road as onlookers swear at the leftist, who died in 2013 from cancer.

"Students destroyed this statue of Chavez. They accuse him, correctly, of destroying their future," opposition lawmaker Carlos Valero said about the incident, which was also reported in local media.

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