May 16 (UPI) — Venezuelan officials said at least two people died in protests, raising the death toll to about 40 people killed since mass anti-government demonstrations began nearly two months ago.
Venezuelan Ombudsman Tarek William Saab said 17-year-old Luis Alviarez died on Monday in the western state of Táchira. He said authorities will launch an “exhaustive investigation of this terrible act to clarify the truth.”
Venezuelan opposition officials said Luis was shot in the chest with a projectile, some alleging he was shot by Venezuelan security forces with a non-lethal firearm.
Juan Requesens, Venezuelan opposition parliament lawmaker for Táchira, said 33-year-old Diego Hernandez died after he was shot in the chest by Venezuelan security forces in Táchira’s Capacho Nuevo municipality.
Requesens blamed Táchira Gov. José Vielma Mora for Hernandez’s death.
“What happened in Táchira is your responsibility. You ordered to assassinate our people and for that justice will condemn you,” Requesens told Vielma Mora.
The most recent protests in Venezuela, which are occurring almost daily, began on March 30 after Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice, or TSJ, said it would assume the National Assembly’s duties — a ruling it later reversed. The opposition said the TSJ’s move was akin to a coup d’etat in favor of Maduro’s regime.