A 17-year-old protester was killed Wednesday as violence surged in ongoing protests in Venezuela. The teenager was identified as Neomar Lander, who was killed while demonstrators faced off against National Guard troops in Caracas. Lander’s death brings the death toll to 66 since April, according to Reuters, as the violence continues and protesters refuse to rest until President Nicolas Maduro steps down. The state prosecutor’s office said it would open an investigation into Lander’s death, but gave no details. The government said he was killed when a mortar exploded in his hands, while opposition activists said a tear gas canister was fired directly at him by riot police. Protesters have accused Maduro of creating a dictatorship in the country and are demanding general elections, the release of hundreds of jailed activists, and foreign humanitarian aid amid a devastating economic crisis. Maduro has hit back against protesters, accusing them of being part of a “fascist” conspiracy to stage a coup. Protests first erupted in April after the Supreme Court ruled to strip the opposition-controlled congress of its powers, a move that was later reversed but led to a flurry of complaints from the opposition.The latest death comes after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley compared Maduro to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday. “The Venezuelan government is in the midst of destroying human rights and democracy in Venezuela,” she said, later adding that “we have to make sure we stop it” before it gets to the same point as Syria.
TOP 10 RIGHT NOW