Venezuela death toll hits 27, protesters battle security forces
02:07, Apr 27, 2017
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Venezuela's chief prosecutor on Tuesday denounced a wave of unrest that has killed 26 people, vowing to hold all those responsible accountable and calling on both sides of a heated political spectrum to "lower the tone of confrontation".
Demonstrations against President Maduro began almost a month ago and since then, 15 people have died around protests-including one National Guard sergeant-and 11 others in evening robberies, said the state prosecutor's office. In Caracas, thousands of protesters shut down the capital city's main highway to express their disgust with the increasingly embattled socialist administration of President Nicolas Maduro.
Protesters sprawled in lawn chairs, worked on math homework and played cards on main roads around Venezuela's cities Monday, joining in sit-ins to disrupt traffic as the latest slap at the socialist government.
The decision was later reversed amid a storm of worldwide criticism - and from Ortega Diaz herself. Ever since, the prosecutor once criticized by the opposition has become an unlikely bulwark against further government repression, showing little sympathy for abuses committed by security forces and protesters alike.
An expert on Venezuelan politics, with four books on the subject, the latest of which is International Mediation in Venezuela (with Francisco Diez, USIP press, 2011), she is now a Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State University, and former director of the Carter Center's Americas Program where she monitored Venezuelan elections and mediated conflicts in that country since 1998. Saab said several others were injured, including some who are "between life and death". "We're simply warming up because the day will come that we are all coming to the street until this government goes", said Gladys Avariano, a 62-year-old lawyer, under an umbrella at the Caracas "sit-in".
Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mohammed Al Suwaiyel also lost his job, replaced by Abdullah Al Swaha. Saudi Arabia has reshuffled its cabinet and replaced a number of key officials, local media reported late Saturday.
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