Armored military vehicles fighting against protesters
The truck rolled over 22-year-old Pedro Michell Yaminne.
Sirens blared in the Altamira neighborhood of the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
Anti-government protesters poured into the streets of this once bustling commercial and residential hub, their young faces obscured by tear-gas masks and bandanas. They hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at riot police who responded Wednesday to the almost daily demonstrations calling for embattled President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
Police in riot gear opened fire with what appeared to be tear gas. A Molotov cocktail sparked a fire atop an armored National Guard vehicle. It backed away from the crowd. Protesters surrounded two members of the security forces.
The armored vehicle, flames spitting from its roof, plowed into the crowd. A young man, his head covered in a white rag, fell in front of the truck. A video camera captured the horror as someone in the crowd yelled, “Son of a —–!”
Protesters watch as an armored truck runs over Yaminne.
Interior and justice minister Nestor Reverol told reporters this week that the “lamentable” incident was under investigation. Referring to the protesters as “terrorists,” Reverol said that moments before Yaminne was run over, demonstrators hurled a Molotov cocktail at the armored vehicle, opened the side door and “brutally assaulted” the driver. He showed a video of the assault to make his point.
At least 36 people have died and more than 700 have been injured in protests in the last month, the Venezuelan prosecutor’s office reported. Half the deaths occurred in the capital of a country mired in economic crisis and political instability. The victims included four teenagers, a National Guard member and a police officer.
Yaminne, his head covered in a white rag, sits up after being run over by a security vehicle.
Yaminne barely survived, his mother, Maria, told CNN.
Yaminne is one of hundreds of protesters who have been wounded facing off against the police
He emerged from beneath the truck with multiple fractures and a collapsed lung, his mother said.
A pair of protesters dragged Yaminne, his face still covered, away from the hulking military truck. Tear gas canisters littered the street.
Yaminne’s condition is stable but delicate, his mother said. A ventilator aids his breathing.
“He has opened his eyes and is communicating with hand signals,” she said.
The young photographer had witnessed the fatal shooting three years ago of a university student named Bassil Da Costa during a protest against the government and had vowed to continue the struggle, she said.
Yaminne loves Venezuela, his mother said. He wants it to emerge from a crisis brought on in part by food and medical shortages and soaring prices. She doesn’t believe her son was involved in the assault on the military vehicle.
“He’s a poet, a photographer,” Maria Yaminne said. “He’s not aggressive. He wants to build up Venezuela, not destroy it.”
Source By http://edition.cnn.com
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