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Americas

Two dead, several wounded as Venezuela National Guard opens fire on Brazil border

media Situation between residents and military is increasingly tense on the border between Brazil and Venezuela (image in Pacaraima, on the Brazilian side) REUTERS/R. Moraes

Two people are dead and 15 have been wounded after the Venezuelan National Guard opened fire on a group of indigenous people who were trying to prevent the soldiers from blocking the Brazilian border to allow humanitarian aid to enter, according to a member of Venezuela’s La Causa Radical (Radical Cause) opposition party.

Venezuelan “National Guard general Commander Colonel Montoya suppressed the Indigenous people and he did it by firing on them, with arms, with bullets. Unfortunately, one of those bullets, hit a woman who died in her home in front of her son,” Amerigo de Gracia, LCR national assembly representative, told RFI.

Zoraida Garcia Rodriguez, an empanada seller and indigenous activist was one of the people killed. The 15 wounded were reportedly taken to hospital.

The deadly confrontation was over an emergency food and medicine delivery organised by the opposition that President Nicolas Maduro says is unnecessary and has tried to prevent.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido had organised humanitarian aid from Brazil, Colombia and Curacao.

Maduro ordered the border with Brazil at Roraima closed on Thursday.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for violence to be avoided in Venezuela, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric in New York.

“Any loss of life is regrettable,” said Dujarric. “Looking ahead for tomorrow the secretary-general strongly appeals for violence to be avoided,” he added.

Venezuela is in the midst of a political and economic crisis as food and medicine shortages have pushed people to flee to neighbouring countries.

 
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