Published On: Sat, Feb 22nd, 2014

Beauty queen the latest victim in Venezuela unrest

A local beauty queen died of a gunshot wound on Wednesday, the fifth fatality from Venezuela’s political unrest, as imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez urged supporters to keep fighting for the departure of the socialist government.

Tensions have risen in Venezuela since Lopez, a 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist, turned himself in to troops on Tuesday after spearheading three weeks of often rowdy protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

The latest victims of the unrest included college student and model Genesis Carmona, 22, who was shot in the head at a protest on Tuesday in the central city of Valencia. She died later in a clinic.

“How long are we going to live like this? How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?” a relative, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

“She only needed one more semester to graduate,” he added of Carmona, who had been studying tourism and had won the 2013 Miss Tourism competition in her state.

Three people were shot dead in Caracas after an opposition rally a week ago, and a fourth person died after being run over by a car during a demonstration in the coastal town of Carupano. Scores of people have been arrested or injured.

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