Henrique Capriles has a different approach when facing Venezuela’s current situation. Capriles, who just barely lost to Maduro in last year’s presidential election, has consistently said that taking to the streets will not bring the change that Venezuela needs and that pressuring Maduro to leave is not the solution.
While Capriles was not the one inciting the protests, he did eventually join opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Maria Corina Machado, according to Venezuelan daily El Universal. Capriles has also strongly criticized the government’s role in the protests.
While the protests started peacefully, on Feb. 12 three people were killed when armed vigilantes on motorcycles attacked anti-government demonstrators.
Since then, protests have become increasingly violent, with demonstrators burning tires and throwing rocks and police, in turn, shooting at them with rubber bullets and tear gas, according to Fusion.
Many students have been detained and and some have said they were subjected to abuse by the National Guard. The Venezuelan Penal Forum, a nongovernmental organization, says it has documented instances of beatings and electrocutions, according to El Nuevo Herald. In one case, the organization said authorities raped a young man with the barrel of a rifle. Others have posted firsthand accounts of allegedpolice brutality online.
Both government supporters and opposition activists have died since the protests turned violent. Bassil Da Costa, a marketing student at the Universidad Alejandro de Humboldt, was shot on February 12th. Juancho Montoya, the leader of a pro-government 23rd of January collective, was also killed in confrontations on Feb. 12.
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