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Venezuela protests kill 28 since Feb: Attorney general

By PressTV | Last updated: Mar 21, 2014 - 12:42:55 PM

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Venezuela’s top prosecutor says 28 people have been killed and hundreds injured since the beginning of the anti-government protests in February.

Luisa Ortega Diaz made the announcement on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 13, AFP reported.

“In all there have been 28 deaths” and 365 people have been injured since anti-government protests first erupted in early February.

“What began in Venezuela as a peaceful demonstration has been transformed into violence and chaos,” she added.

The top prosecutor noted that the “right to demonstrate is not absolute,” insisting that “citizens have the right to demonstrate peacefully and without weapons.”

Her remarks came a day after huge protests in Caracas and other major cities turned violent, with police firing tear gas and water canon to disperse demonstrators.

Venezuela has been the scene of violent pro- and anti-government demonstrations since early February.

The opposition criticizes the government for the high crime rate and economic hardships in the country, claiming that the policies of the administration of President Nicolas Maduro have led to a shortage of essential goods and a high inflation rate.

Mr. Maduro, however, says the Venezuelan opposition seeks to launch a coup d’état in the country with the support of the United States.

The Venezuelan leader ordered the expulsion of three U.S. consular officials last month, accusing them of meeting with student protest leaders under the guise of offering them visas to destabilize the country.

In response, Washington declared three Venezuelan consular officials personae non gratae and asked them to leave the U.S.  (