Woman killed, dozen injured after clash with Venezuelan security forces

A local official said the Pemon indigenous group clashed with the Venezuela National Guard and army, who were moving tanks to the border with Brazil.
Image: An ambulance carrying people that were injured during clashes is assisted at the border between Venezuela and Brazil on Feb. 22, 2019.
An ambulance carrying people that were injured during clashes is assisted at the border between Venezuela and Brazil on Feb. 22, 2019.Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

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By Associated Press and Nicole Acevedo

Officials in Venezuela say a woman has been killed and a dozen more injured in a clash with security forces on the border with Brazil.

Gran Sabana Mayor Emilio González identified the woman shot dead Friday as Zoraida Rodríguez, a member of an indigenous community.

González says members of the Pemon ethnic group clashed with the Venezuela National Guard and army, who were moving tanks to the border with Brazil. He said the soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas and the injured people were taken for medical treatment.

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A day earlier, President Nicolás Maduro ordered the border closed as the opposition made plans to bring in humanitarian aid from Brazil and two other neighboring countries on Saturday.

The clash between Venezuelan authorities and the Pemon indigenous tribe comes a day before Feb. 23 — the deadline imposed by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó for humanitarian aid to enter the country. Guaidó declared himself the country’s interim president last month, and he has the support of the U.S. as well as other countries in the region and Europe.

Maduro has said the aid is part of a larger effort from other countries to topple him.

As the deadline quickly approaches, a massive benefit concert is taking place Friday in the Colombian town of Cúcuta, near Venezuela’s border, to raise funds and call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela as well as push for Maduro to allow international aid into the country.

About 500,000 people are expected to attend the “Venezuela Aid Live” concert, which is led by English business magnate Richard Branson and Colombian entrepreneur Bruno Ocampo in coordination with Colombian authorities.

Beloved Latin music artists such as Luis Fonsi, Maluma, Maná, Juanes, Alejandro Sanz, Juan Luis Guerra and many more are expected to perform in the concert on Friday.

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