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Opinion and Analysis: Opposition

In Detail: The Deaths So Far

Since April 4, 2017, violent anti-government protests have rocked Venezuela. Characterised by deadly clashes between state security forces and opposition demonstrators, vandalism and destruction of public institutions, and the assassination of Chavista supporters, the unrest has left 65 people dead to date. Hundreds more have been injured.

Despite the heavy press coverage, there is significant confusion over how these deaths occurred and at the hands of whom. In a bid for clarity, Venezuelanalysis provides readers with an in-depth and a complete account of the deaths so far below.

This table will be updated on a daily basis in accordance with the results of ongoing investigations as well as new incidents.

Readers will note that a number of deaths have still not been accounted for given that substantive criminal allegations have yet to surface regarding the circumstances and alleged party responsible for the killings.

Total death count: 65
Date last updated: May 26

 

Deaths caused by authorities Direct victims of opposition political violence Indirect victims opposition political violence Deaths still unaccounted for Accidental deaths Deaths attributed to pro-gov’t civilians
9
(Gruseny Antonio Canelon, Daniel Queliz, Jairo Ortiz, Christian Ocha, Albert Rodriguez, Diego Hernandez, Luis José Alviarez Chacón, Manuel Castellanos, Pugas Velásquez)
13
(Bryan Principal, Oliver Villa Camargo, Neumar Jose Sanclemente, Ramon Martinez, Almelina Carrillo, Paola Ramirez, Jesus Leonardo Sulbaran, Luis Alberto Marquez, Efrain Sierra, Rexol Navas, Gerardo Barrera, Anderson Dugarte, Jorge David Escandon)
5
(Ricarda Gonzalez, Ana Colmenarez, Maria de los Angeles Guanipa, Angel Enrique Moreira Gonzalez, Carlos Enrique Hernández)
30
(Miguel Ángel Colmenares, Carlos Moreno, Kevin León, Francisco González, Mervins Guitian Díaz, Orlando Johan Jhosep Medina, Renzo Rodriguez Roda, Juan Pablo Pernalete Lovera, Eyker Daniel Rojas Gil, Armando Cañizales, Gerardo Barrera, Juan Lopez, César Armando Guzman Jiménez, Hecder Lugo, Miguel Castillo, Yeison Mora, Diego Arellano, José Francisco Guerrero, Paul Moreno, Pedro Josue Carrillo, Edy Alejandro Teran Aguilar, Yoman Alí Bervecia Cabeza, Elvis Adonis Montilla Perez, Alfredo Carrizales, Miguel Bravo Ramirez, Freiber Perez Vielma, Jhon Alberto Quintero, Juan Antonio Sánchez Suárez, Erick Antonio Molina Contreras, Israel Vargas)
8
(Jairo Ramírez, William Marrero, Robert Centeno, Jonathan Meneses, Elio Pacheco, Kenyer Aranguren, Stivenson Zamora, Yorgeiber Rafael Barrena Bolivar)
0

 

Name of Victim Political affiliation Alleged party responsible Circumstances Location and date Status of litigation
Jairo Ortiz, 19 Bystander, none National Bolivarian Police Force (PNB) Bystander in protest. Carrizal, Miranda/April 6 Officer arrested and charged.
Daniel Alejandro Queliz Araca, 20 Opposition protester Carabobo State Police Queliz was reportedly shot in the neck by police during a protest in front of the Los Parques apartment complex. Valencia, Carabobo /April 10 Two police officers arrested on April 12 and indicted.
Ricarda de Lourdes Gonzalez, 87 Bystander, none Indirectly anti-government protesters The opposition initially claimed that she had died due to tear gas used by authorities. Her family (daughter) later revealed that she had suffered a CVA and they had been unable to get her to a hospital in time due to opposition roadblocks. Bello Monte, Caracas/April 10 None to date.
Miguel Ángel Colmenares, 36 Bystander, unclear Unclear MP has confirmed Colmenares died of a shotgun wound following a robbery in the vicinity of opposition protests by unidentified subjects, who reportedly threw explosive devises at him before opening fire.    Barquisimeto, Lara/ April 12 Public Prosecution (MP) has dispatched state attorneys to investigate. The body has yet to identify those responsible.
Brayan Principal, 14 Bystander, from Chavista family Armed protesters from the private Hacienda Yucatán residential community. Armed protesters opened fire on the adjacent Ali Primera government public housing (GMVV) complex after residents from the latter attempted to remove burning roadblocks.Principal was a resident of Alí Primera and was shot twice in the company of his mother when trying to relocate from the scene of confrontation. Barquisimeto, Lara/ April 12 Héctor Yohan Zapata Felice (29) was arrested for Principal's murder on May 24th by the state prosecution. 
Gruseny Antonio Canelón, 32 Opposition protester Bolivarian National Guard Died of organ failure after being shot during protest. Cabudare, Lara/ April 11 Arrest warrant issued for 15 GNB officers.
Oliver Villa Camargo, 29 Bystander, none Opposition protesters Crossed a barricade in el Paraiso, Caracas, while driving with a friend. Two assailants on a motorcycle shot him in the face. He kept driving but died minutes later. El Paraíso, Caracas/ April 13 None as of yet.
Carlos Moreno, 17 Bystander, none Unclear, though opposition has blamed pro-government “collectives”. Moreno was heading to a soccer game at the time of death. He was not involved in protests, according to his brother, although he was close to opposition protests when he was shot - allegedly by men on motorbikes. Media reports suggest Moreno was caught in some kind of confrontation between pro and anti-government protesters. Witnesses blamed pro-government civilians for the death. Moreno died shortly after he was admitted to hospital. Caracas/April 19 Sucre police chief Ramon Camacho Delegado (35) and civilian Alexander Jose Linares (40) have been arrested and charged with the murder. The Sucre police force is controlled by opposition Mayor Carlos Ocariz. 
Paola Ramirez, 23 Opposition, but not involved in protests Iván Alexis Pernía Dávila (31) has confessed to the murder. The Minister of Justice, Nestor Reverol, stated that Davila is a supporter of hard rightwing parte Vente Venezuela. The party has denied the link. Video shows Ramirez crossing the road as a group of men on motorbikes drive past. She then falls to the ground. It is presumed that Davila was attempting to shoot at the motorbikers.

San Cristobal, Tachira/April 19 Davila has been charged with premeditated murder and illegally carrying a firearm.
Neomar Jose Sanclemente Sergeant with Bolivarian National Guard Opposition protesters Came under gunfire during an opposition protest. One other GNB officer was also injured. Los Castores, San Antonio de los Altos, municipality of Los Salias, Miranda state/April 19 Investigation ongoing.
Ramón Martínez, 29 Unknown Opposition protesters Shop-owner trying to defend store during looting/vandalism in El Valle. San Andres, El Valle, Caracas/April 20 MP dispatched district attorney.
Kevin León, 30 Unknown. Possibly a bystander, possibly protester. Unknown Unclear: died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to press and Public Prosecution. San Andres, El Valle, Caracas/April 20 MP dispatched district attorney.
8 people electrocuted Names: Jairo Ramírez (45), William Marrero, (33), Robert Centeno (29), Jonathan Meneses (27), Elio Pacheco (20), Kenyer Aranguren (20), Stivenson Zamora (29), Yorgeiber Rafael Barrena Bolivar (15) Presumably opposition Accidental The victims received an electric shock – possibly from a security mechanism – as they attempted to loot a bakery. San Andres, El Valle, Caracas/April 20 MP dispatched district attorney.


Francisco González, 34 Unknown, presumably opposition Unknown Gonzalez died from gunshot wounds in El Valle during looting on April 20. El Valle, Caracas/April 20 MP is investigating his death.
Albert Alejandro Rodriguez Aponte, 16 Presumably opposition State security forces The Public Prosecution has confirmed that Rodriguez was asphyxiated by tear gas used to control unrest in El Valle. San Andres, El Valle, Caracas/April 20 Under investigation by the MP. The body has yet to identify the individual responsible.
Mervins Guitian Díaz, 26 Unknown, worked as public works supervisor for Sucre municipality. Unknown Unclear: Opposition Mayor Carlos Oscariz reports that Diaz was shot in the vicinity of a protest. MP confirms he died after being shot in abdomen. 5 de Julio, Petare, Miranda/April 21

MP dispatched district attorney to investigate.
Almelina Carrillo, 47 Bystander, unknown.  Presumably opposition sympathiser Was struck in the head by a frozen bottle close to the April 19 Chavista march, thrown presumably by an opposition sympathiser from a building above. She was hospitalized in critical condition but died on April 23. She was a nurse on her way to work when she encountered the march and was struck. Caracas/April 19, later died on April 23. Jesus Juan Albi Zambito (42) was arrested on May 2 and subsequently indicted in connection with the murder. 
Jesus Leonardo Sulbaran, 42 Merida state gov’t worker, Chavista Opposition sniper(s) Shot in the neck during pro-government rally by alleged sniper(s) firing from nearby apartment. Merida/April 24 National and state attorneys dispatched to investigate.
Luis Alberto Marquez, 52 Merida state gov’t worker, Chavista Opposition sniper(s) Shot in the head during pro-government rally by alleged sniper(s) firing from nearby apartment. Merida/April 24, died 1.30am April 25 MP has yet to issue a public statement regarding the status of his individual case.
Orlando Johan Jhosep Medina, 23 Opposition protester. Mother is local Chavista leader and employee of Municipal Council. Unclear Shot in the head by shotgun round during violent anti-government demonstration near town hall in Tocuyo in early hours of April 24. Tocuyo, Lara/ April 24 State district attorney commissioned to investigate.
Renzo Rodriguez Roda, 54 Unknown, motorcycle taxi driver Unclear According to MP, he was buying medicine for his wife at a pharmacy on Barinitas Avenue, "when a demonstration passed and he received a gunshot wound in the left pectoral region of his chest that caused his death."  Bolivar, Barinas/April 24 National and state attorneys dispatched to investigate.
Christian Humberto Ochoa Soriano, 22 Opposition protester Carabobo State Police Shot while protesting in Miguel Pena, Carabobo. Died later in hospital. Carabobo, Valencia/April 24, died April 25 Police officer Gerson Alberto Quintero, 36, to be indicted for homicide by MP.
Juan Pablo Pernalete Lovera, 20 Opposition protester Unknown. Injured while protesting in Altamira. Admitted to hospital without vital signs. Public Prosecution confirmed that victim died from haematoma in left hand side of chest. Opposition blamed tear gas used by state security forces for his death, but initially autopsy results released by public prosecution show that Pernalete was shot in the chest at point blank range, most probably by a bolt pistol used for killing cattle. Altamira, Caracas/April 27 MP is investigating.
Efraín Sierra, 34 Passerby, Chavista Opposition protesters Tachira Governor José Gregorio Vielma Mora told press that Sierra was killed after opposition protesters attempted to steal his motorbike at a roadblock. Tachira/April 26 MP has yet to release an official statement on this case.
Eyker Daniel Rojas Gil, 20 Bystander near to protest. Unknown Rojas was injured during a protest in Barquisimeto and admitted to hospital without vital signs. The press reports that he was shot. His family say that he was not involved in the protests. The opposition has blamed the Bolivarian National Guard for his death. Barquisimeto, Lara/April 26 The MP is investigating the death.
Ana Victoria Colmenarez de Hernandez, 43 Bystander, unkown Indirectly opposition protesters Passenger on a bus that flipped over while attempting avoid a barricade, presumably set up by anti-government demonstrators as part of the opposition-organized "National Barricade".

Naguanagua, Carabobo/ May 2

None as of yet.
Maria de los Angeles Guanipa, 38.  Bystander, unkown Indirectly opposition protesters Passenger on a bus that flipped over while attempting avoid a barricade, presumably set up by anti-government demonstrators as part of the opposition-organized "National Barricade". Individual has yet to be identified. Naguanagua, Carabobo/ May 2 None as of yet.
Angel Enrique Moreira Gonzalez, 28 Bystander, unkown Indirectly opposition protesters

The olympic swimmer was killed when another vehicle collided with his motorcycle on the Prados del Este highway and subsequently fled the scene. Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol has indicated that the other vehicle was going the wrong direction on the highway due to a barricade near the Santa Fe exit, leading to the fatal accident.

La Trinidad, Caracas/ May 2 None as of yet.
Eduardo Jonathan Quintero, 21 Looter, presumably opposition Store owner He was allegedly shot and killed by the shop owner who opened fire on Quintero and other looters. Valencia, Carabobo/ May 2

Authorities are actively looking for the shop owner, who has been identified as Xen Ye Chon (41).

Armando Cañizales, 18 Protester Unclear, though opposition has blamed the GNB. However, a autopsy found he was killed by a ball bearing not a tear gas grenade.

Killed by an inury to the neck during clashes between the GNB and armed protesters. According to the autopsy, the injury was caused by a ball bearing likely fired from an unconventional weapon. Six more ball bearings were discovered at the scene of the protest near to where the GNB was positioned. A nitrate ion test reveals the projectiles contained gunpowder, suggesting that they were presumably fired towards the GNB by demonstrators.

Las Mercedes, Caracas/ May 3

MP has dispatched a district attorney to investigate.

Gerardo Barrera, 38 Carabobo state police Unclear, though possibly protesters. Injured during protest on May 3. Died in hospital morning of May 4. San Joaquin, Carabobo/ May 4

State prosecutor has arrested a man in connection with the murder.

Juan Lopez, 28 Chavista Unclear, presumably a political assassination. The Jose Antonio Anzoategui student federation leader was shot at the end of a student assembly by an unidentified subject who fled on motorbike. He had been publicly supporting the Venezuelan President's call for a Constituent Assembly. The attacker was present in the assembly and opened fire from the crowd before fleeing. Anzoategui/ May 4

State prosecutor is investigating.

César Armando Guzman Jiménez, 22 Unknown Unknown Guzman was injured in the same incident as Lopez (above), alongside two other students. Local press reports say that Guzman was sat on steps nearby to the student assembly and was hit by a stray bullet. He was admitted to hospital but died three days later. Anzoategui/ May 4

None to date

Rexol Alexander Acevedo Navas, 32 Chavista. Navas was a widely respected workers' leader at worker controlled factory Industrias Diana. Alleged opposition protesters. Family members report that Navas was driving to visit family members on May 2nd when he came across an opposition roadblock. Protesters ordered Navas to hand over his vehicle. He was shot dead when he put up resistance. His body was found on May 3rd on a nearby freeway alongside his burnt vehicle. Valencia/May 2 None to date
Hecder Lugo, 22 Opposition protester Unknown. Opposition has blamed National Guard. Lugo died on May 5th from a gunshot wound to the head after being injured at an opposition protest the previous day. San Diego, Carabobo/May 4th

The Public Prosecution is investigating.

Miguel Castillo, 27 Opposition protester Unclear. Opposition has blamed security forces. Died May 10, after being shot in the chest by a marble. According to preliminary reports, the marble was fired from a gun at close range. The opposition has claimed security forces are using marbles instead of crowd crontrol ammunition, though there's no reliable evidence to support this claim. Opposition protesters themselves, however, do use improvised weapons regularly. Las Mercedes, Baruta municipality, Miranda state/May 10

The Public Prosecution is investigating, while a commission into the death has also been established by the ombudsperson.

Anderson Dugarte, 31 Bystander, mototaxi driver Unidentified sniper, may have been targeting police and government supporters. Government has blamed the opposition. Died May 10 of a gunshot sustained on May 8. Authorities say Dugarte was one of three people who came under sniper fire. Merida City, Merida State/May 8

Investigation ongoing

Carlos Enrique Hernández, 30

Bystander, mototaxi driver Indirectly opposition protesters  Died May 12 after motorbike collided with debris left from opposition barricade and hit lamppost.  Cabudare, Lara/May 12

None to date

Luis José Alviarez Chacón, 18

Alleged opposition protester Unclear, opposition has blamed GNB. Died May 15 after being shot in the chest during an unofficial anti-government protest Palmira/ Tachira/May 15 Two PNB officers, Wilfredo Casanova and Carla Sayago, arrested and indicted. 

Diego Hernandez, 33

Opposition protester  Police officer from Tachira regional police force Died May 15 after being shot during anti-government demonstration.   Tachira/May 15 Officer Luis Oviedo detained May 16 and to be indicted.

Yeison Mora, 17

Bystander Unclear, autopsy points to marble possibly fired by protesters.  Died May 15 after being shot in head near to a demonstration. Mora's uncle has indicated that Mora was on his way to the hardware store with his brother when he crossed paths with the protest. According to preliminary autopsy results announced by Barinas Governor Zenaida Gallardo, the impact to the youth’s right infraorbital nerve “was not caused by a firearm but by a marble”, which was presumably fired from a makeshift weapon used by protesters. Mora's family has blamed the opposition for the death.
 
Barinas/May 15 MP investigations underway

Diego Arellano, 31

Opposition protester  Unclear, opposition has blamed GNB. Autopsy results points to fellow demonstrators.  Shot in the neck during a protest in San Antonio de Los Altos at approximately 11:30am. Subsequently died in the emergency room. Justice Minister Nestor Reverol has revealed that according to autopsy results Arellano was killed by an 11.03-milimeter metallic sphere fired from close range, indicating that the killer was “among the demonstrators”. Twelve similar metal spheres and a makeshift pipe bomb were likewise discovered at the crime scene near to where the National Guard was positioned, suggesting that they were being fired by the demonstrators.  Miranda/May 16 MP has dispatched state district attorney. 

José Francisco Guerrero, 15

Bystander Still unknown, but his sister released a video blaming national guard.  Shot while buying flour near to an anti-government protest in Tachira at approximately 4pm May 16th. He later died in hospital on May 17th.   San Cristobal/Tachira/May 16 MP has dispatched district attorney. 

Manuel Castellanos, 46

Bystander National Guard  Shot in the neck and killed while making a purchase in the vicinity of an opposition protest.  Tachira/May 17 MP ordered the arrest and indictment of three National Guard sergeants. 
Paul Moreno, 25

 

Opposition Protester  Unkown 

According to Public Prosecution, he was run over by a truck while at a street protest in Maracaibo. He was subsequently rushed to the hospital where he died shortly thereafter of a brain injury.  

Maracaibo, Zulia/May 17 The MP has detained Omar José Barrios, 23, and girlfriend, Liz Mary Hernández Paredes, for allegedly running over Moreno when protesters blocked their way.
Pedro Josue Carrillo Local PSUV leader Unknown, Chavistas accuse right-wing militants. 

According to unconfirmed eyewitness acounts reported in the local newspaper Ciudad Barquisimeto, he was kidnapped by masked men in a blue Meru truck who were overheard saying, “pick him up, this one is a Chavista.” His body reportedly appeared two days later with with "burn marks and signs of torture". 

Barquisimeto/ disappeared on May 16, body found on May 18 MP has yet to issue a statement confirming the incident. 
Jorge David Escandon, 37 Carabobo state police officer Opposition sniper

According to Interior Minister Nestor Reverol, Escandon and one other officer “were vilely attacked by snipers” on May 15, amid protests. He died on May 19 from the gunshot.

Shot on May 15 on the Autopista del Este in Palma Real, Carabobo. Died in hospital of his injuries on May 19. Gerardo Alvarez (32) arrested and facing charges from national and state prosecutors for the homicide.
Edy Alejandro Teran Aguilar, 23 Opposition student protester Unclear, though opposition has blamed "colectivos". 

According to a statement by Venezuela’s Public Prosecution, the incident occurred when “presumably various armed persons arrived on the scene and opened fire at the group of protesters." 

Valera, Trujillo/May 20 State district attorney dispatched to investigate. 
Yoman Alí Bervecia Cabeza, 19 Unclear, but private media have reported he was a protester.  Unclear, but private media and opposition have blamed government "repression". 

According to the MP, Bervecia, “was in the [Jose Antonio Paez] sector of Barinas city, where a protest was underway, when he was shot.” He was subsequently rushed to the Los Pozones emergency room without vital signs.

Barinas/May 22 State district attorney dispatched to investigate. 
Elvis Adonis Montilla Perez Unclear, but private media have reported he was a protester.  Unclear, but private media and opposition have blamed government "repression". 

According to the MP, he was shot in the chest “in the vicinity of the Palma de Oro residential complex." The national newspaper El Universal has reported that the death occurred close to barricades made of large concrete tubes erected by protesters near the Palma de Oro and Santa Clara residential complexes. Police arrived on the scene early, using tear gas to disperse the protests and open the way for vehicles to pass.

Barinas/May 22 State district attorney dispatched to investigate. 
Alfredo Carrizales Unclear, but some private media have reported he was a protester.   Unclear, but private media and opposition have blamed government "repression".  According to MP, he was in the Andres Eloy Blanco neighborhood, “where a demonstration was taking place, when he was shot in the left intercostal.” El Universal has suggested Carrizales may have been part of a looting on Cedeño street, but the account is unconfirmed.    Barinas/May 22 State district attorney dispatched to investigate. 
Miguel Bravo Ramirez, 25 Opposition protester  Unclear, but opposition has blamed Barinas state police. 

According to the MP, Bravo was among a group of protesters in the vicinity of the Plaza Bolivar "when an irregular situation occured in which Bravo Ramirez was wounded by the impact of two projectiles." 

 

 Jose Antonio de Sucre municipality, Barinas/Wounded May 22, died May 22 State district attorney dispatched to investigate. 
Freiber Perez Vielma, 21  Unclear   Unknown According to the MP, he was in the neighborhood of El Corozo, "where a demonstration was taking place when he was shot in the back."  Barinas/Wounded May 22, died May 23 State district attorney dispatched to investigate. 
Jhon Alberto Quintero  Unclear   Unkown, though opposition has blamed the death on “repression” by state security forces. 

 

Fatally shot in the head under unclear circumstances. According to El Nacional’s Barinas correspondent, Yonny Camacho, it is uncertain whether Quintero was participating in a looting or was killed in a botched robbery.  Guanape, Barinas/May 22  The MP has yet to issue an official statement. 
Juan Antonio Sánchez Suárez, 21 Opposition demonstrator Unknown Sánchez Suárez was participating in an anti-government near to the José Antonio Páez residential complex in Barinas at around 6pm when he was shot twice in the chest. He was admitted to hospital without vital signs.  Barinas/May 23 Under investigation by state prosecution. 
Erick Antonio Molina Contreras, 35 Opposition protester Unknown Molina was shot several times while engaging in a protest near to the Los Proceres apartment blocks in Barinas. He was admitted to hospital but pronounced dead.  Barinas/May 23 Under investigation by state prosecution. 
Israel Vargas, 23 Opposition protester Unknown  Vargas was shot during a nightime demonstration outside of the Las Torres del Saladillo apartment block in Maracaibo. The state prosecution says that the incident occurred after an "irregular situation" broke out when the national guard arrived to restore order.  Maracaibo/May 24 Under investigation by state prosecution. 
Pugas Velásquez University student, may have been opposition Police Was shot while inside a university building amid protests in the area. Was rushed to hospital, but died shortly after sustaining the injury. Ciudad Bolivar/May 24 Three officers arrested in connection to the death