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15 Apr 2020 | 08:50 PM UTC

Venezuela: Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Falcon state April 15

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Churuguara (Falcon state) on April 15; further demonstrations reported in Barinas and Anzoategui states

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Event

Police forces fired tear gas at protesters in Churuguara (Falcon state) on Wednesday, April 15, who were demonstrating for a second day over fuel shortages. Reports indicate that the individuals gathered despite the current quarantine measures in place across the country. There have been no immediate reports of injuries as of Wednesday evening (local time).

Similar protests were also reported in Barinas and Anzoategui states. According to local media sources, drivers and transport workers gathered in Socopó (Barinas state) to protest the current fuel shortages. Additionally, demonstrators gathered in Soledad (Anzoategui state) to also demonstrate against the fuel shortages, as well as food and water shortages. 

The Venezuelan government extended the nationwide ongoing "social quarantine" measures on Sunday, April 12, for a further 30 days amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Venezuela's police force has been deployed to ensure public compliance with the quarantine measures.

To date, there are 197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Venezuela, including nine associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Advice

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