Puebla, Mexico, June 15, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan authorities are investigating three new deaths possibly linked to opposition barricades.
Jose Amador Lorenzo Gonzalez and Luis Alberto Machado died Wednesday night in a traffic accident that authorities say was caused by brricades in Miranda state.
The incident took place in the neighbourhood of Los Campitos, in the municipality of Baruta.
According to a report by the Public Prosecutor's office, the pair collided on their motorbikes while trying to evade a barricade blocking the highway. Lorenzo is believed to have died during the accident. Machado was rushed to a nearby hospital, but arrived without vital signs, police said. A third person was also injured in the incident.
In a separate incident in Zulia state, student protester Luis Enrique Vera (21) was run over at a street barricade by a pickup truck in Maracaibo on Thursday. The driver of the vehicle, Darwin Rubios (37), has been arrested and charged with the homicide. Vera is the second protester accidentally run over at a street barricade in Zulia.
The deaths bring the total toll of two months of political violence in Venezuela to 80, according to data compiled by Venezuelanalysis.
In addition to Lorenzo and Machado, a total of 22 people are now suspected to have been killed by the indirect or direct actions of right-wing protesters, who often use barricades to block roads. Protesters have also reportedly attacked public infrastructure, journalists and civilians suspected of supporting the government.
In one of the latest cases, pro-government community radio station Radio Elevación Bolivariana reported Wednesday its station had come under attack. The broadcaster’s director, Julio Medina, said an improvised explosive was found attached to an exterior door, after an unidentified group had hurled faeces at the entrance. No injuries were reported, though Medina condemned the incident as an attack on the free press.
“Today we repudiate these un-Venezuelan acts,” he said.
Since then, reporter Edgar Rodriguez was allegedly threatened by opposition protesters, according to prominent socialist lawmaker Diosdado Cabello.
Rodriguez works with state broadcaster VTV, and is reportedly a Chavista – a supporter of Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution.
During his own show on VTV, Cabello condemned the threats against Rodriguez as “criminal”.
“Here is a comrade, [and] because he works at [VTV], … [they] are threatening him,” Cabello said.
He added, “Does he have no right to be a Chavista?”