On Thursday, April 23, at least one protester was killed in a demonstration in Upata (Bolivar state). Dozens of residents gathered to protest a lack of food and water and the rising prices of food and essentials amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. According to reports, several shops, including a supermarket, were looted and vandalized during the unrest. Security forces responded by firing tear gas at protesters and clashing with them. At least two others suffered injuries and over 30 people were arrested.
Thursday was reportedly the second consecutive day of protests in provincial cities and towns; similar unrest was reported in Bolivar state on Wednesday, April 22, most notably in Araya, Ciudad Bolivar, Guasipati, and El Callao, as well as in Socopó (Barinas state), Ezequiel Zamora municipality (Cojedes state), and Cumana (Sucre state).
Additional protest action and unrest should be anticipated in the near term. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are expected near any demonstration site, and clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Individuals in Venezuela are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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