A police officer is in custody following the death of a teenager during an opposition protest, a state official confirmed Tuesday.
On his weekly program, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro expressed condolences to the family of the high-school student and guaranteed that justice would be done.
“If an official commits a crime, I will be the first to demand justice,” said Maduro.
The president spoke out against violence during protests, like those that last year resulted in the deaths of 43 people, the majority at the hands of right-wing protestors.
According to Maduro, a group of young people encircled and attacked police with rocks shortly before Kluibert Roa Nunez, age 14, was shot.
Venezuelan Minister of Interior Relations, Peace and Justice Carmen Melendez also offered her condolences to the young man’s family and confirmed that an officer is in custody.
“We condemn the murder of Kluibert Roa Nunez in the state of Tachira. We will be relentless in the application of justice and the law,” Melendez tweeted.
The Public Ministry also released a statement confirming the arrest of officer Javier Mora Ortiz, 23, for his alleged connection to the death of Roa, which took place in the western Venezuelan city of San Cristobal.
According to Colonel Ramon Cabezas, head of citizen security for the state of Tachira, the circumstances surrounding Roa’s death remain unclear. Venezuelan authorities have called for peace and calm as they continue their investigation into the youth’s death.
Minister and Chief Admiral Melendez swore via twitter yesterday evening that “there would not be impunity” for the police.
The western Venezuelan city of San Cristobal was at the epicenter of last year’s violent opposition-led protests that led to 43 deaths across the nations. In recent week, radical right-wing protestors have attempted to rekindled violent street barricades.
Last week’s arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma in connection to the recently thwarted coup plots, has also sparked small protests in the country.
The governor of Tachira state, Jose Gregorio Vielma Mora, declared a state-wide day of mourning today to honor the Roa Nunez’s memory.
Additional reporting by venezuelanalysis.com