Violent anti-gov't protests in Venezuela raise death toll to 39
CARACAS, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The latest wave of violent anti-government protests in Venezuela raised the death toll to 39 on Wednesday, prosecutors said.
"Miguel Castillo died during a demonstration at Las Mercedes," the Public Ministry (MP) reported, referring to the shopping district in the capital Caracas.
Castillo, 27, brought the total number of fatal victims to 39, since protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro were renewed in April.
The right-wing opposition coalition, known by its Spanish acronym MUD, planned to march on the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), located in downtown Caracas, but was blocked by security forces, who dispersed protesters.
Venezuela's Ombudsman Tareck William Saab condemned the killing, and said on Twitter that a commission would "investigate this regrettable incident to determine who is responsible."
Earlier in the day, the MP confirmed the death of Anderson Dugarte, who was shot in the head on Tuesday in the western city of Merida during a protest.
More than 500 people have been injured in the protests, and thousands have been arrested.
The government has called for a new Constitution as a means of overcoming the political crisis, and is in the process of forming a constituent assembly to draft the document.
On Monday, representatives of 17 political parties met with the presidential commission overseeing the process. However, the MUD is boycotting the initiative, hoping stepped up protests will force the government to call early elections.