Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

Killings of boys set off protests against crime

April 7, 2006

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— Protesters enraged by the killings of three boys in a ransom kidnapping took to the streets Thursday accusing President Hugo Chavez of inaction against rampant crime, saying he has divided Venezuelans with his frequent tirades.

The anti-crime protests have put the government on the defensive, as officials have pledged sweeping police reforms while accusing opponents of trying to use the situation for political gain.

Some 300 protesters also marched Thursday to demand justice in the slaying of Jorge Aguirre, a photographer for the newspaper El Mundo who was shot Wednesday by an unidentified man on a motorcycle while on his way to a protest.

The protests erupted Wednesday after the slayings of the three Faddoul brothers - John, 17, Kevin, 13, and Jason, 12, with dual Canadian-Venezuelan citizenship - whose bullet-ridden bodies were found more than a month after they were kidnapped.

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