[News] Maternity Hospital Attacked in Venezuela, Death Toll Rises to 53

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 19 11:11:40 EDT 2017


https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13135


  Maternity Hospital Attacked in Venezuela, Death Toll Rises to 53

By Lucas Koerner May 18, 2017
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Caracas, May 18, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/venezuelanalysis.com>) – A maternity 
hospital was attacked in Venezuela's Miranda state Wednesday as the 
death count in ongoing violent anti-government protests ascends to 53.

Three newborns and one pregnant woman in labor were evacuated from the 
Carrizal Maternity Hospital after the facility was besieged for two 
consecutive days by opposition demonstrators.

According to hospital’s director, Doctor Natalia Martinho, smoke was 
entering the hospital from the barricades of burning rubble erected just 
50 meters from the building by protesters, endangering the health of 
patients on the fourth floor.

The barricades reportedly prevented doctors, specialists, and all but 
two of the hospital’s twelve nurses from arriving for their shifts, 
leaving Martinho on duty for 36 hours alongside two residents.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has confirmed that a 27-year-old 
pregnant woman from Aragua currently in labor was evacuated along with 
three newborns “who could not receive their treatment for 36 hours due 
to the terrorist groups of the opposition”.

The attack comes as violent opposition protests demanding early 
presidential elections enter their seventh week.

Over the past couple days, two more people have been reported dead in 
the unrest, which has seen opposition supporters clash with authorities, 
attack public institutions and state security personnel, and blockade 
roads nationwide.

On Wednesday, Manuel Castellanos was shot and killed in the vicinity of 
an opposition protest in Tachira state. The 46-year-old was reportedly 
making a purchase when he was shot in the neck and subsequently rushed 
to the hospital without vital signs.

Following an investigation, the Public Prosecutor’s office ordered the 
arrest of three National Guard sergeants to be charged with the murder. 
The arrests follow the indictment of two National Bolivarian Police 
officers and a state police functionary for the killing of protesters 
Luis Jose Alviarez Chacon (18) and Diego Hernandez (33) also in Tachira.

Located along the southwestern border with Colombia, Tachira has long 
been a hotspot of violent clashes between anti-government protesters and 
authorities.

On Tuesday night, two multimedia centers were ransacked 
<http://albaciudad.org/2017/05/saquean-sala-de-infocentro-para-personas-con-discapacidad-visual-en-tachira/> 
in the Tachira municipality of Cardenas, including one containing highly 
expensive specialized equipment serving visually impaired people.

The following evening, an army barracks in La Grita, Tachira, was 
besieged 
<https://www.el-carabobeno.com/quemado-cuartel-militar-en-la-grita/> for 
six hours by masked militants wielding Molotov bombs.

Six alleged paramilitaries have also been arrested by authorities 
elsewhere in the state in a separate incident.

Venezuela’s Defense Ministry has ordered the deployment of 2000 National 
Guard personnel to the border state in order to reestablish law and order.

Elsewhere in Lara state, the local newspaper Ciudad Barquisimeto 
reported 
<http://ciudadbqto.com/2017/05/18/encapuchados-secuestraron-y-asesinaron-a-pedro-josue-carrillo-habitante-de-la-porronera/> 
the kidnapping and murder of local socialist activist Pedro Josue 
Carrillo, whose body appeared on Thursday. According to alleged 
eyewitnesses, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) member and 
community organizer was kidnapped Tuesday by masked men in a blue Meru 
truck who were overheard saying, “pick him up, this one is a Chavista.”

“[Carrillo’s] remains were found in Quibor with burn marks and signs of 
torture, common practices of Colombian paramilitarism,” said local PSUV 
leader Juan Campos.

Venezuela’s Public Prosecution has yet to issue a statement confirming 
the death.

The violent unrest continued into Thursday when a protester was fatally 
injured during a demonstration in Zulia state.

According to a communiqué by Venezuela’s Public Prosecution, Paul Moreno 
(25) was run over by a truck while at a street protest in Maracaibo. He 
was subsequently rushed to the hospital where he died shortly thereafter 
of a brain injury.

The fourth Zulia state prosecutor, Israel Vargas, has been commissioned 
to investigate the killing.

Meanwhile, new details have emerged surrounding the deaths of Diego 
Arellano and Yeison Mora.

On Wednesday, Justice Minister Nestor Reverol revealed that according to 
autopsy results, Arellano – a 31-year-old student protester in San 
Antonio – was killed by an 11.03-milimeter metallic sphere fired from 
close range, indicating that the killer was “among the demonstrators”.

Twelve similar metal spheres and a makeshift pipe bomb were likewise 
discovered at the crime scene near to where the National Guard was 
positioned, suggesting that they were being fired by the demonstrators.

Reverol also noted that the steel ball bearings are similar to those 
that caused the deaths of Miguel Castillo 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13117> and Armando Cañizales 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13113> earlier this month. Despite 
the forensic evidence implicating protesters in the killings, the 
opposition has continued to blame the deaths on state security forces.

In Barinas, uncle of 17-year-old Yeison Mora has accused opposition 
protesters of causing the death of his nephew. The family member, Alexis 
Mendoza, indicated that Mora was on his way to the hardware store with 
his brother when he crossed paths with the demonstration and was shot in 
the head.

According to preliminary autopsy results announced by Barinas Governor 
Zenaida Gallardo, the impact to the youth’s right infraorbital nerve 
“was not caused by a firearm but by a marble”, which was presumably 
fired from a makeshift weapon used by protesters.

In response to the findings, Mendoza condemned the opposition for 
allegedly using his nephew’s death as “propaganda” to fuel further 
anti-government protests.

“We, the family, are refuting all that the opposition is doing with the 
death of my nephew, making propaganda with the death of Yeison, and we 
are going to clarify that effectively, it’s almost proven that it was a 
protester who shot him,” he told Venezuelan National Radio.

According to data compiled by Venezuelanalysis 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13081>, 12 people have been 
killed directly by opposition supporters since April 4, while 8 deaths 
have occurred at the hands of authorities. A further five deaths have 
resulted from accidents caused by anti-government barricades, while 
eight people were electrocuted during an attempted looting. Twenty 
deaths have still yet to be accounted for.

Published on May 18th 2017 at 8.26pm

-- 
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863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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