World / Latin America

Chilean is first foreign fatality in Venezuela unrest

(Agencies) Updated: 2014-03-11 11:05

Chilean is first foreign fatality in Venezuela unrest

A national police chases after an anti-government protester at Altamira square in Caracas March 10, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]


Although street protests helped briefly topple Venezuela's late leader Hugo Chavez in a botched 2002 coup, there seems little chance the current unrest could lead to a overthrow of his successor, Maduro.

The military, which played a crucial role in 2002, appears firmly behind Maduro. Opposition leaders are also split between militants who back the street action and moderates who believe that tactic risks violence and lacks widespread support.

The ongoing, daily protests are a mix of peaceful demonstrations and violent exchanges between security forces and hooded protesters hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Pro- and anti-government medical personnel held rival rallies in the capital on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the army said it raided a parking garage under Caracas' Altamira Square - a stronghold of opposition protests - and found a store of water, food, medicine, helmets and other equipment destined to keep the demonstrations going. Eleven people were arrested, the authorities said.

An increasingly confident-looking Maduro told supporters that the protesters had been defeated.

"We have faced a coup and neutralized it," he said.

But students are vowing to stay on the street indefinitely in what could be a protracted period of instability for Venezuela's 29 million people.

More than 1,300 have been arrested during the unrest, with 92 still behind bars, according to the government. More than 300 people have been injured during the unrest.

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