Venezuelan toll in protests reaches 39

Caracas, March 30 (IANS/EFE) Two more deaths of opposition activists while protesting against President Nicolas Maduro on barricades in the cities of San Cristobal and Maracaibo have pushed the anti-government demonstrations victims’ tolll to 39.

Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres confirmed the latest two deaths during the demonstrations that began last Feb 12.

The first fatality, a 44-year-old company manager in San Cristobal identified as Franklin Romero. He was electrocuted while trying to mount a blillboard along with two other people but made contact with an electric wire, the minister said.

The other victim was Roberto Annese, 33, a university student who died Saturday in Maracaibo, capital of the northwestern Venezuelan state of Zulia. His death was attributed by Zulia’s Bolivarian Police Force, or CPBEZ, to an explosive device that he was allegedly handling while manning a street barricade on the state capital’s north side.

Rodriguez Torres said that six people have been arrested in Maracaibo for trying to blame Roberto Annese’s death on a police attack.