CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A young Venezuelan man returning home late from work was fatally shot when he got caught in the middle of late-night street clashes that engulfed several working-class neighborhoods in Caracas.
The death Thursday night of Melvin Guitan in a poor neighborhood in eastern Caracas brings to nine the number of people killed nationwide this month as part of almost-daily, increasingly violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuelan social media was ablaze late into the night with grainy cellphone videos of light-armored vehicles plowing down dark streets to control pockets of protesters who set up burning barricades in several neighborhoods. At least five people were injured in one disturbance a short distance from Caracas’ main military base.
Amid the confusion, mothers and newborn children had to be evacuated from a maternity hospital when it was swamped with tear gas. But while anti-government protesters accused riot police of being behind the attack, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said armed groups hired by Maduro’s opponents were to blame.
Vicente Paez, a local councilman, said Guitan was an employee of a Caracas-area city governed by an opposition mayor and didn’t partake in the protests. It wasn’t clear who shot him and there was no immediate comment from authorities. …