“The Venezuelan government mantains that a recently launched, massive security plan is intended to break the power that criminal gangs wield over urban neighborhoods. Yet the operation may ultimately result in the police using excessive force against a civilian population. On July 17, community residents of Caracas barrio Cota 905 went to the Attorney General’s office to protest the deaths of fifteen people that died in ‘confrontations’ during the ‘Operation Liberation and Protection of the People.’ A few days before Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez, the Minister of Interior Relations, Justice, and Peace, had announced that 134 ‘delinquents’ had been arrested in one day as part of this same plan, 32 of whom he claimed were paramilitaries.”
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