The following is an excerpt from Mariana Zuñiga and Nick Miroff | April 19, 2017 | Thewashingtonpost.com |
CARACAS, Venezuela — Anti-government protesters poured into the streets of Venezuela’s capital and blocked its main highway Wednesday, but their march toward downtown Caracas was stopped by volleys of tear gas fired by riot police and national guard troops.
The march was by far the largest of several this month, as opponents of President Nicolás Maduro have sought to increase pressure on his unpopular government.
At least one person was killed Wednesday, after unidentified attackers shot a young man in the head near a Caracas intersection where protesters had gathered. There were conflicting reports as to whether the victim, identified as Carlos Romero, 17, was shot on his way to join the march or if the assault was unrelated. At least six Venezuelans have died this month in the unrest.
Wednesday’s march was a test for Maduro’s opponents, who have urged frustrated Venezuelans to join them despite fears of out-of-control violence and a harsh crackdown by security forces.
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