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Another Man Killed During Venezuela Protests

  • VOA News

FILE - A police officer fires tear gas against anti-government protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, April 20, 2017.

A man was shot and killed Thursday night during massive protests in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, authorities said, making him the ninth person to be killed during protests in the country this month.

Carlos Ocariz, mayor of Sucre municipality, announced the young man's death on Twitter and called for an investigation and punishment for the man's killer.

"With much pain, I report the death by gunshot of Melvin Guaitan, humble neighborhood worker of Sucre municipality #Petare," he wrote. "We demand that the culprits be investigated and punished!"

Ocariz did not provide immediate details about the killing or say whether Guaitan had been participating in the demonstrations.

Neighborhoods in Caracas have had nearly daily and increasingly violent protests over the past month as the country slides deeper into an economic crisis.

WATCH: Venezuelan protesters speak out


Violence Thursday night forced the evacuation of children and mothers from a maternity hospital when the building was flooded with tear gas. Anti-government protesters blamed riot police for the attack, but Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said armed groups hired by President Nicolas Maduro's opponents were to blame.

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans participated in the demonstrations to denounce what they consider an increasingly authoritarian government.

The ongoing demonstrations started after the Venezuelan Supreme Court's March 30 announcement that it would strip the opposition-controlled National Assembly of its legislative powers. The court reversed its position in the wake of domestic and international outcries about an attempted power grab.

On Saturday, protesters are planning to march silently through the capital while wearing white to commemorate those that have been killed during the demonstrations.

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