22-Year Old Beauty Queen Fifth Death in Venezuelan Anti-Government Protests

Genesis Carmona, a 22-year old beauty queen elected Miss Turismo Carabobo 2013, passed away today after being shot in the head during an anti-government protest in Venezuela. Carmona is the fifth young Venezuelan to die during peaceful anti-government protests in support of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo López.

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Carmona was marching peacefully along with anti-socialist young Venezuelans in the third largest city of the country, Valencia, when she was shot in the head. She was taken to the hospital but could not be saved. Valencia's protests have been especially violent as supporters of President Nicolás Maduro have attempted to disrupt the marches-- yesterday, eight were injured by gunshot wounds in a similar protest.

The latest wave of protests against Hugo Chávez's successor began this weekend, when opposition party Popular Will leader Leopoldo López called for an organized protest against Maduro's regime. Three protesters were shot and killed in that assembly and a fourth run over by a car, which protesters say was driven by a government worker. In response to the deaths, Maduro personally issued a warrant for López, indicting him with murder and terrorism charges for the deaths. López responded by calling for another march on Caracas yesterday afternoon, where he appeared publicly and was arrested. He is currently being taken to a military facility outside of Caracas and was last seen in the company of Venezuelan legislative assembly president Diosdado Cabello.

Opponents of the regime cite numerous infractions dating back to the Chávez era, from the astronomically high murder rates in Venezuelan cities to the lack of toilet paper and basic amenities since Maduro's rise to power. Maduro has been governing by decree since November, after Cabello engineered a vote in the assembly to transfer most of their power to Maduro by way of executive orders.


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