Venezuelans march in memory of those killed in unrest

Marches are planned for cities around the country and in the capital Caracas, where the opposition will gather in 20 different places and march to the headquarters of the country's Catholic archdiocese.

The Public Ministry said the violence left 11 people dead in El Valle, all men between the ages of 17 and 45.

At least 12 people died on Friday after rioting broke out at the streets of Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, between government opponents and the National Guard, according to The New York Times. According to Olivares, 9 of those admitted died from injuries caused by electrocution and gunfire.

Looting also erupted Wednesday and yesterday, with businesses ransacked in western Caracas and people carting off food and beer, residents said.

Tensions and violence in Venezuela continue to rise as protesters rally against the presidency of Nicolas Maduro.

The unrest was sparked by a Supreme Court decision last month to strip Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress of its few remaining powers, a move that was later reversed amid a storm of global criticism. Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets again Thursday, one day after three people were killed and hundreds arrested in.

April 19: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Washington is anxious the Maduro government "is violating its own constitution".

Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami said on Friday the country is facing what he calls an "unconventional war" led by opposition groups working in concert with criminal gangs.

The center-right opposition accuses the government of repressing peaceful protests and sending armed thugs to attack them.

"We want free elections, we want to get rid of this corrupt government", said Iomira Barrios, 60, an environmental consultant who says she can no longer find work.

That is the sort of protest that has repeatedly descended into violent unrest all month, as police fire tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to break up demonstrators, who fight back with stones and Molotov cocktails.

The letters are meant to build on legislation recently passed by the opposition-controlled congress that nullifies any government debt issuances not explicitly approved by legislators, Borges said in an interview Friday.

Thousands took to the streets to demonstrate for and against Maduro's government amid an escalating economic crisis.

Opposition leaders have promised to keep up their protests, demanding that Maduro's government call general elections, free nearly 100 jailed opposition activists and respect the autonomy of the opposition-led Congress.

"These are terrorist groups on a mission to sow hate and death", Diosdado Cabello, leader of the ruling socialist party, told supporters this week.

Mr Maduro says the protests against him are part of a coup plot backed by the United States. The country has debt payments still coming due this year of around $6 billion. He said the subsidiary of Spain's Telefonica "sent millions of messages to users every two hours" in support of Wednesday's protests.

  • Jon Douglas