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10 Mar 2020 | 01:40 PM UTC

Venezuela: Police use tear gas to disperse protesters in Caracas March 10 /update 9

Riot police use tear gas to disperse opposition protesters in Caracas March 10; heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions expected

security
transportation
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Event

On Tuesday, March 10, Venezuelan riot police used tear gas to disperse an opposition demonstration and block protesters from marching to the National Assembly building in downtown Caracas. Hundreds of supporters reportedly attended the demonstration, organized and led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, to call for a transitional government and free and fair elections. After being blocked from the National Assembly, the group reportedly gathered in a nearby square to hold a congress session.

Clashes broke out between rival political supporters during another rally organized by Guaidó on Saturday, February 29, in Barquisimeto. According to media reports, a group of pro-Maduro vigilantes harassed demonstrators and fired live ammunition into the air. Opposition leaders claim a 16-year-old was shot in the leg during the clashes.

A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any demonstration.

Context

Venezuela is in the midst of a political crisis spurred by President Nicolás Maduro's inauguration to a second term as president on January 10, 2019, following 2018's contested election, prompting the National Assembly to declare a national emergency. At least 50 foreign governments - including the US, Canada, and Brazil, among others - have since recognized Guaidó as the interim head of state.

Advice

Individuals in Venezuela, and in Caracas in particular, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.