Graphic photos: 1 killed, 300 injured as armoured Police vehicle crushes protesters in Venezuela

On Wednesday, dozens of people took over the streets of Venezuelan capital in Caracas calling for the government of President Nicholas Maduro to hold elections and improve the country’s collapsing economy.

Unfortunately, the mega protests turned bloody when angry gangs threw Molotov cocktail, bottles and rocks at riot police, who responded by firing white tear gas. In the process, one person was killed and over 300 people got injured as a flaming police riot van ran over many.

Terrifying images show a man completely helpless when he caught up in an explosion after a bike burst into flames. While another photo shows a young girl being rescued after she was run over by the police rioting van.

Although, the protests against the embattled president began in early April with many already killed following the ongoing demonstration in the country.

See more photos below…

Venezuela crisis: One confirmed dead as protesters clash with police

Venezuela crisis: One confirmed dead as protesters clash with police

Opposition protesters have clashed with riot police in chaotic scenes in cities across Venezuela.

A rally in Caracas began peacefully before masked youths hurled rocks and fire bombs as they took part in a march of thousands towards parliament.

Venezuela crisis: One confirmed dead as protesters clash with police

A teenager protester died, as police used rubber bullets and water cannons.

The government has warned demonstrators – who have been protesting for a month – that their right to cause street disruption is not absolute.

Justice and Interior Minister Nestor Reverol warned that blocking the highways carried an eight-year sentence.

Venezuela crisis: One confirmed dead as protesters clash with police

The demonstrators are especially angry over President Nicolas Maduro’s recent decree that creates a 500-member constituent body to rewrite the constitution, a step that would bypass the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Speaking at the National Electoral Council, Mr Maduro said there would be elections for the new citizens’ assembly in a few weeks.

More than 30 people have been killed and hundreds either injured or arrested since protesters took to the streets in early April.

Venezuela crisis: One confirmed dead as protesters clash with police

Demonstrators on Wednesday – many wearing bandanas and carrying catapults – confronted the security forces on the Francisco Fajardo highway, which runs through the heart of Caracas.

“They [the security forces] are mobilised as if this was a war,” opposition leader Henrique Capriles said.

Mr Maduro succeeded Hugo Chavez, a popular leader, who had introduced wide-ranging social welfare programmes and died in 2013.

Venezuela crisis: One confirmed dead as protesters clash with police

Since then, falling prices for Venezuelan oil exports have cut government revenue and there have been shortages of food, baby milk, medicine and other basics.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast that inflation in Venezuela will be above 700% this year.

Presidential elections are due at the end of next year.

Venezuela crisis: Opposition condemns Maduro move

Venezuela crisis: Opposition condemns Maduro move

Opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have set up roadblocks and staged demonstrations demanding elections as the country’s political and economic crisis deepens.

They responded with defiance to his call for a new constitution to end unrest that has killed 28 people.

Mr Maduro said his move was necessary to fend off a foreign-backed plot against him.

The US said it was a bid to cling to power, while Brazil called it a “coup”.

The president’s opponents want to hold a vote to remove him, blaming the left-wing president for food shortages that have led to rioting.

Mr Maduro has rejected their calls and issued a presidential decree creating a 500-member “constituent assembly” to rewrite the constitution, a step that would bypass the opposition-controlled Congress.

He announced the step to thousands of his supporters at a May Day rally on Monday.

“This constituent assembly that Maduro has announced is a manipulation to escape elections,” AFP news agency quoted student Raul Hernandez, 22, as saying. He was among about 100 people blocking a major road in the capital Caracas.

Elsewhere, security forces deployed tear gas and water cannon at anti-government demonstrators.

Opposition leaders have called for a “mega protest” on Wednesday.

“People, into the streets!” opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on Twitter. “You must disobey such lunacy!”

There has been widespread international criticism of the move.

The head of the Washington-based Organisation of American States, Luiz Almagro, called it wrongheaded, unconstitutional and fraudulent.

The US state department spokesman Michael Fitzpatrick told reporters: “We have deep concerns about the motivation for this constituent assembly which overrides the will of the Venezuelan people and further erodes Venezuelan democracy.

“What President Maduro is trying to do yet again is change the rules of the game.”

Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes called the move a “coup”.

“It’s another step in breaking the democratic order, which contradicts the country’s own constitution,” he said.

In Venezuela itself, in the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Mps voted to reject the new body with many saying President Maduro was attempting to sideline the Congress and avoid new elections.

Three killed at Venezuela anti-government protests

Three killed at Venezuela anti-government protests

At least three people have been killed in Venezuela in protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

A teenager in the capital Caracas and a woman in San Cristobal, near the Colombian border, were shot dead.

A national guardsman was killed south of the capital.

Tens of thousands of people rallied to demand new presidential elections and the release of jailed opposition politicians. Mr Maduro accused the opposition of attacking police.

He also accused them of looting shops, saying that more than 30 arrests had been made.

Supporters of the government held a rival rally in Caracas.

Three killed at Venezuela anti-government protests

Meanwhile, opposition leader Henrique Capriles has called for further mass protests on Thursday.

Despite having the world’s largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela has suffered for several years from high inflation, rampant crime and a shortage of basic goods.

The protests taking place across the country were expected to be the biggest in three years, putting extra pressure on President Maduro to negotiate with the opposition and find a way of easing the country’s economic crisis.

Three killed at Venezuela anti-government protests

Anti-government protesters have described it as Venezuela’s “second independence day”.
Elections are not due until 2019, but the opposition says the country is on the verge of collapse. Inflation is expected to top 700% this year, the IMF says.

The latest crisis was triggered by last month’s Supreme Court decision to officially take over power from the opposition-controlled parliament.
The Supreme Court reversed its decision after three days, but it was too late to prevent a new wave of protests.
Venezuela has now seen weeks of clashes between demonstrators and police. The latest deaths bring the number killed to at least eight, with many more injured.