This is what you need to know to understand what is going on in Venezuela

Por María Isabel Magaña
22 May 2017
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While Maduro dances in national television, Venezuelans fill the streets to protest against a regime that’s killing them.  The marches began on March 29th, when the opposition called for a demonstration to reject the "coup d'etat" given by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) when it assumed the powers of the Parliament and revoked parliamentary immunity.

 

The action of the Supreme Court was denounced by the international community- which had hitherto kept silent- as evidence of a dictatorship in Venezuela. Because of this, the TSJ revoked the measure on April 1st.

 

 

 

However, Venezuelans did not abandon the streets and kept demanding an end to the Maduro regime, the opening of a humanitarian channel for food and medicines, the freedom of all political prisoners and the call for elections, which have been pending since 2016.

 

The strength of the demonstrations has united the opponents and diluted the political dyes to make the feelings of unity and motherland emerge.

 

Between tears, and from Madrid, Venezuelan Oriana Caamaño thanks their compatriots in for continuing to manifest every day. "They are heroes, they are the bravest. I am the sister, the bride, the cousin of all who are in the street”, she says.

 

The courage and determination of protestants have been put to the test since the more 946 peaceful marches that have been carried out since April have been violently suppressed by the regime with tear gas and even bullets.

 

The clashes have left 51 people dead until May 15, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict. To date, the Public Ministry has acknowledged the death of only 36 people.

 

"Every dead person hurts us as if it were a bit of a heart that is removed from us. We will never be able to thank them for what they are doing to recover Venezuela," adds Caamaño in her video.

 

Violence has increased since Maduro activated Plan Zamora on April 18th. The plan promotes and consolidates actions of armed civilians, who support the regime, and that can act with violence to maintain public order.

 

Demonstrators, led by students, have been defending from repressive actions with improvised shields and 'puputov bombs', a glass vessel composed of water with human excrement that they throw at the military and police.

 

In addition, they march with helmets and scarves to protect themselves from the gasses. They carry rosaries and the flag of Venezuela on their shoulders, inverted and with seven stars: as it was before Hugo Chávez changed it.

 

 

 The repression has not discriminated elders, women, mothers or students. However, it is the young people who have died the most in the protests: at least 32 of them were under 30 and six more were minors.

 

The main cause of death: gunshots. This is especially attributed to the armed civilians who are part of the Zamora Plan and are taking justice on their own. The cities with the most dead have been Caracas and Carabobo, where the largest demonstrations have been held.

 

Their lives cannot remain as a simple statistic. That is why in Datasketch we made this map to visualize each of the victims of Maduro's repression. You can filter according to your interests and click on the indicators to know the story of each person who has been murdered since the protest began.

 

If you want to support the Venezuelans from the outside you can support this initiative so that each protestant has a safety helmet, donate here so that the paramedics have supplies to attend those who protest or even join those who march.

 

 

María Isabel Magaña

Journalist, Master in Investigative Journalism and #DataViz. Thus, I see data everywhere. Promoting transparency through queremosdatos.co

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