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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 13 of 190 information and neutralizing the disturbers of the public peace” and the deployment of Intelligence Services nationwide for surveillance and patrol. It is in this context that, spontaneous civil protests started in early February 2014 in San Cristobal, Táchira State.31 Students, prompted by the deteriorating socio-economic crisis and the lack of security in Venezuela, an in particular an incident of rape on the campus, spontaneously yet peacefully set out to demonstrate on the campus their disapproval of GoV policies demanding reforms. The demonstration was repressed with disproportionate violence by the local police, and ended with a number of students and police officers wounded, and two students arbitrarily arrested because they were suspected of taking pictures and filming the repression with their mobile phones. The arrested students were also severely injured by the police agents.32 During the following days including on the 6 and 7 February 2014, in reaction to the arrest of the two students,33 a series of protests were started by students in several cities across the country, including in and around San Cristóbal, Mérida and Maracaibo34 calling for the students’ release.35 Thirdly, President Maduro, in collaboration with members of his inner circle deployed the National Guard, the National Police, the local police, the intelligence services under his de jure control and called on the pro government armed forces under his de facto control to attack the demonstrators which he referred to as “right wing fascists”.36 31 PRODAVINCI. (2014) 5 claves para entender las protestas estudiantiles en Venezuela. Prodavinci. [Online] 10 February. Available from: entender-las-protestas-estudiantiles-en-venezuela/ [Accessed 19 October, 2015] 32 EL NACIONAL. (2014) Liberaron a estudiantes detenidos por protestas en ULA Táchira. El Nacional. [Online] 6 February. Available: detenidos-ULA-Tachira_0_350365216.html [Accessed 19 October, 2015] 33 These students were conditionally released on February 5. OJO, R. (2014) ¿Qué ocurrió en la Universidad de Los Andes de Táchira? Ojo. [Online] 6 February. Available from: [Accessed 19 October, 2015] 34 OJO, R. (2014); Also see: EL NACIONAL. (2014) Liberaron a estudiantes detenidos por protestas en ULA Táchira 35 Venezuela Charges Opposition Leader, Protests Erupt, YAHOO!, Apr. 5, 2014, available at; Venezuela Forces ‘Clear’ Protest City of San Cristobal, supra note 91; Venezuela Court Rejects Release of Opposition Leader, YAHOO!, Mar. 28, 2014, available at; What Lies Behind the Protests in Venezuela?, supra note 90; Vivia Sequera, Did Attempted Rape Ignite Venezuela’s National Protests?, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Feb. 22, 2014, Sequera, V. (2014) Did attempted rape ignite Venezuela's national protests? The Christian Science Monitor. [Online] 22th February. Available from: Wires/2014/0222/did-attempted-rape-ignite-Venezuela-s-nationalprotests [Accessed 19 October, 2015] 36 CNN. (2014) Manifestantes en Táchira: ¿Estudiantes o “fascistas"? CNN. [Online] 6 February. Available from:

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