TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Venezuelan groups blame violence on opposition

Reuters - Melvin Morse, 58, had his medical license suspended after his arrest for child endangerment and assault.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Reuters</em></div>Melvin Morse, 58, had his medical license suspended after his arrest for child endangerment and assault.
AP - An Egyptian firefighter inspects the scene where a gas canister exploded near a coffee shop in the Warraq section of Cairo Egypt, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>An Egyptian firefighter inspects the scene where a gas canister exploded near a coffee shop in the Warraq section of Cairo Egypt, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2013.
AFP/Getty Images - Students form a makeshift memorial to a comrade killed during a protest against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a demonstration in Caracas on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AFP/Getty Images</em></div>Students form a makeshift memorial to a comrade killed during a protest against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a demonstration in Caracas on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 8:12 p.m.
 

CARACAS — The explosion this week of violence in Venezuela has again put a spotlight on militant grassroots groups called “colectivos,” which view themselves as the defenders of revolutionary socialism but are denounced by opponents as thugs.

A well-known colectivo leader was fatally shot during competing political demonstrations in Caracas, while opposition activists blamed colectivos for starting the violence in which two other people died.

Colectivo members have taken to state TV to call for calm and demand the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, whom they accuse of inciting bloodshed.

Using the slogan “The Exit,” the United States-educated Lopez has for two weeks helped organize sporadic demonstrations around the country to denounce President Nicolas Maduro for failing to control inflation, crime and product shortages.

The colectivos emerged during the rule of the late Hugo Chavez as the self-appointed guardians of his leftist policies.

From running security in their communities to drumming up support for government anti-poverty efforts, they function as an informal extension of the Socialist Party.

“The colectivos are paramilitary groups armed by the government and protected by officials in uniform,” Lopez said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Divide between mainstream French, poor Muslims evident in terror reaction
  2. Civilians killed in fighting in separatist-held Donetsk, Ukraine
  3. Kurdish forces fight back, but new strategy could hinder resistance
  4. Parole granted to leader of apartheid death squad
  5. ‘A chink in’ jihadi ‘armor’
  6. Ex-Russian spy Litvinenko poisoned twice, lawyer says
  7. Luxury Libyan hotel attacked by terrorists
  8. Leader of Venezuelan congress denies bodyguard’s allegations
  9. Deadly attacks pinned on ISIS
  10. Hezbollah, Israel signal desire to curb fighting
  11. 14 officers in China who allegedly ate salamander, beat reporters taken off job