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Venezuela’s Military Can Now Legally Use Firearms Against Demonstrators

 

Venezuela’s Ministry of Defense has authorized the military to use firearms against demonstrators as a last resort in the demonstrations taking place in the country.

 

Released through a regulation published in the Official Gazette on 27 January, the measure seeks “to avoid disorder, to support the legitimately constituted authority and to reject any aggression, facing it immediately and with the necessary means”.

While some people supported the measure, opposition politicians, human rights activists and citizens condemned the announcement, especially through social networks.

The coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of the Democratic Unity Roundtable, Delsa Solórzano, reported that a request will be filed before the Supreme Court to overturn the regulation, which she considers “abominable” and unconstitutional; she also made arrangements in the United Nations, which yesterday condemned the regulation.

Meanwhile, Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino López said that those opposed to the regulation are part “of an offensive that has tried to put the people of Venezuela in distress”.

At a press conference, opposition leaders read a statement against the measure. “We call on the National Armed Forces to fulfill their institutional duties… do not turn arms against the people,” said Caracas’s Mayor Antonio Ledezma.

The Student Movement of the Catholic University Andres Bello (UCAB) also rejected the proposed measures, demanding that the government of Venezuela address the crisis in the country and urge the government to stop the persecution of students.

 

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