Venezuelan situation worsens
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.