Venezue­lan sit­u­a­tion wors­ens

The McGill Daily - - News - Vic­tor De­pois

On Mon­day, Jan­uary 15, Os­car Perez, a for­mer Venezue­lan po­lice of­fi­cer, was killed with seven other rebels in a nine-hour long siege in Caracas. The ex­po­lice- of­fi­cer-turned-free­dom-fighter be­came Venezuela’s most wanted fugi­tive last May when he used a stolen po­lice he­li­copter to drop grenades on gov­ern­ment build­ings. Dur­ing Mon­day’s siege, he posted mul­ti­ple videos on so­cial me­dia claim­ing that he was will­ing to turn him­self in but could not be­cause the au­thor­i­ties were try­ing to kill him. Nestor Reverol, Venezuela’ In­te­rior Min­is­ter, has claimed that op­po­si­tion lead­ers helped re­veal the hide­out of Perez. Talks be­tween the two par­ties were sup­posed to re­sume on Thurs­day, but have yet to re­open be­cause op­po­si­tion politi­cian Luis Florido de­mands an ex­pla­na­tion, claim­ing that Reverol lied to Venezue­lans. Ten­sions in the coun­try have led to the death of 120 peo­ple, and to the de­ten­tion of thou­sands in last year’s anti-maduro protests. The op­po­si­tion de­mands the re­lease of dozens and dozens of po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers, and the recog­ni­tion of the au­thor­ity of congress, and wants the gov­ern­ment to al­low hu­man­i­tar­ian aid into the coun­try. They also ask for guar­an­tees for a free and fair pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The elec­tions will take place this year, but cit­i­zens con­tinue to suf­fer and many have fled. Colom­bian gov­ern­ment re­cently stated that 550,000 Venezue­lans have es­caped to their coun­try, many of whom are un­doc­u­mented.

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