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Venezuela Death Toll Will Keep Rising Unless All Commit To Human Rights – Amnesty

Venezuela protests.

Demonstrators in Venezuela are demanding better security, an end to goods shortages and protected freedom of speech.

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 14, 2014: The death toll in Venezuela will keep rising unless all sides commit to human rights, Amnesty International said this week.

At least 25 people have been killed after a month of massive public demonstrations for and against the government in Venezuela. A police officer, a student and a third man died on March 11th in separate incidents in Valencia, the country’s third-largest city, 170km west of Caracas.

“In such a polarized political context the bloodshed will only continue unless the government and its supporters, as well as the various political opposition groups commit to fully respecting human rights,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Americas Programme. “Specifically, all parties should roundly condemn any acts of violence against political opponents. The authorities must do their utmost to prevent these attacks and to ensure that anyone responsible for such acts is brought to justice.”

President Nicolás Maduro has told his supporters that after a meeting of his Security Cabinet he will announce “extraordinary measures” aimed at putting an end to the ongoing protests.

“We urge President Maduro to uphold the rule of law and ensure that any extraordinary measures he adopts respect the human rights of all in Venezuela, without discrimination,” added Marengo.

“It will take a concerted effort from all sides to work together on a peaceful resolution to Venezuela’s current dangerous climate of civil unrest. The only fair and lasting solution to the country’s political crisis will be one that fully respects human rights, starting with the rights to life and to physical integrity.”

Demonstrators are demanding better security, an end to goods shortages and protected freedom of speech. On February 12, the demonstrations attracted global attention when three people were killed. The protests are the largest Maduro has faced in his 11 months in power. He has called opposition members fascists and compared them to an infection that needs to be cured.