A 14-year-old boy was “run over and tortured” by an armored vehicle driven by the Venezuelan National Guard in the city of Mérida, according to opposition politician José Manuel Olivares.
“A colleague of mine sent me this image from Mérida,” Olivares wrote on Twitter. “A 14-year-old boy was run over and tortured by a National Guard tank.” An x-ray image shows several fractures in the boy’s legs.
Nos envía un Colega está imagen desde Mérida! Niño de 14 años arrollando y torturado en la tranqueta de la GNB pic.twitter.com/a3ueOL86e0
— Jose Manuel Olivares (@joseolivaresm) June 14, 2017
Reports on social media claimed he was run over by the tank, before being brought into the tank and tortured inside.
City councilor for Mérida Francisco Melero also confirmed the incident, writing on Twitter: “A 14-year-old boy from the Santa Bárbara region was steamrolled by the national guard in #merida, do they really think people will calm down?”
— Francisco Melero (@franciscomelero) June 14, 2017
The incident took place during an anti-government protest in the municipality of Libertador, in which one person was killed and three others were injured.
The Venezuelan military under Nicolás Maduro has targeted underage protesters for years, killing unarmed adolescents at alarming rates. Among the earliest cases was the killing of another 14-year-old, Kluivert Roa, who was shot by police while demonstrating and was photographed lying in a pool of blood which caused outrage across social media.
Both incidents are just two of numerous cases of government-instigated police brutality in Venezuela. So far, as many as 84 protesters, many of whom are teenagers, have been killed since daily anti-government protests began in late March, as police use water cannons, rubber bullets, and smoke bombs to contain protesters.
Last month, footage emerged of an armored car running over into a crowd of demonstrators after a firebomb was thrown at it.
Another striking image included a naked protester holding a bible was sprayed with rubber bullets by the police as he called for an end to the socialist regime.
An audio recording obtained by the Miami Herald revealed a military general suggesting that police should start using sniper rifles to contain the protests.
As many as eight Latin American countries have now signed a letter condemning an “excessive use of force by Venezuelan authorities against civilians who are protesting government measures that affect democratic stability and cause the loss of human life.”
People also reacted with outrage this week after the Venezuelan Intelligence Service (SEBIN) shot an innocent dog in the eye during an office raid in El Paraíso. “My mother was by herself and they shot her dog in the eye,” the owner’s daughter told El Nacional.
Me pregunto si este perro era terrorista y amenazaba la vida de los miembros del CONAS. pic.twitter.com/B0wGnSSNHj
— Jesús Armas (@jesusarmasccs) June 14, 2017
The socialist dictator, Nicolas Maduro, has described protesters as “terrorists” trying to undermine the nation’s democracy and is now sending them to military tribunals in order to face trial.