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16 Oct 11:52 AM UTC

Venezuela: Protests October 16 to denounce election results /update 3

Increased controversy surrounding October 15 gubernatorial elections; political violence possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/18/2017, 11:42 PM until 10/18/2017, 11:42 PM (America/Caracas).

COUNTRY/REGION Northern Venezuela

Event

According to official results, President Nicolás Maduro’s PSUV party won at least 17 of the 23 governorships in the October 15 elections. The election itself took place without violence. However, the political opposition coalition MUD has accused the government and the national electoral commission (the CNE) of fraud and has refused to recognize the results. MUD has called for street protests to be held on Monday, October 16, throughout the country. The largest demonstrations are likely to take place in the capital Caracas and cities where the opposition traditionally has the largest support, such as San Cristóbal (Táchira state) and Mérida (Mérida state).

As with all demonstrations in Venezuela, deadly violence is possible, notably clashes involving police and/or pro-government militias.

Context

Earlier in the year, Venezuela was shaken by four months of anti-government protests, coinciding with ongoing political, economic, social, and health crises. While the rate and intensity of protests has fallen in recent months, the potential for further large-scale protests and associated violence remains. Over 120 people were killed in the protests, the majority by security forces who have repeatedly been accused of excessive use of force.

Advice

Individuals in Venezuela are advised to closely monitor the sociopolitical situation in the coming days and strictly avoid all protests (and associated roadblocks) due to the likelihood of violence.