2 Dead in Venezuela Protests

An initially peaceful protest turned deadly as pro-government vigilantes opened fire on student demonstrations against the President

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Protests in Caracas against President Nicolás Maduro erupted in violence Wednesday, leaving at least two dead as anti-government demonstrators clashed with security forces and armed pro-government vigilantes.

Following a day of peaceful demonstration by a crowd of roughly 10,000, a small group of roughly 100 students stayed after most of the crowd dispersed and began setting fire to trash cans and tearing out sidewalks to throw at police, the Wall Street Journal reports. An armed gang of pro-government vigilantes on motorcycles opened fire on the students, killing 24-year-old Bazil D’Acosta. The leader of the pro-government 23rd of January collective (a militant pro-government group) was also killed in the violence though how remains unclear.

The clashes are the culmination of weeks of increasingly violent demonstrations against the Maduro administration taking place around the country. Demonstrators have voiced frustration over a multitude of issues including economic difficulties and crime.

[Wall Street Journal]