Venezuelans marched this evening in honour of the approximately 67 people who have been killed during the unrest that began in the country on April 1, and to remember the life of the latest fatality of the protests: Neomar Lander. There were candlelight vigils and evening marches throughout the country, with the largest demonstrations taking place in the capital.
Lander, 17, was killed yesterday during the protests in Caracas. While the exact circumstances of his death have yet to be determined, video evidence and witness testimonies suggest that he was struck in the chest by a tear gas canister fired by a National Guard soldier.
In Caracas, demonstrators marched from Parque Cristal to the Libertador Avenue in the Chacao neighbourhood to the spot where Lander died yesterday. The march got underway shortly before 7:00 PM.
Below, images and videos from the event in Caracas.
Lander’s Mother: “He Would Never Leave the Streets”
Suhail Armas, Neomar Lander’s mother, spoke to the media today about her son, a young man whom she characterized as steadfast in his resolve to fight for a better Venezuela. Armas explained that her son had just graduated high school with an A+ average, and that he was hoping to enroll in the Universidad Central de Venezuela.
Armas also said that Lander, along with the rest of the family, had been active participants in the anti-regime protests that have taken place in the country since April. On her son’s view of the protests, Armas said:
My son actively participated in the marches, exercising the right that we all have to protest. He said that he would never leave the streets, and that he would keep fighting for his country. This was clear to him even at his young age. He said that a fighting few would free many. He was motivated [by that idea].
Armas placed the blame for her son’s death squarely on the regime, suggesting that her son would not have been killed if security forces would simply allow demonstrators to march peacefully as is their wish. She said:
If the government is so sure of itself, if they’re really such a great majority, then why do the provoke protesters? Why do they block our path and attack us like animals?
Armas also said that she was detained yesterday afternoon by officers from the CICPC, Venezuela’s forensic and investigations police force, and said that she had been warned through a phone call that the regime was planning to formally charge her “for exposing a child to risk” by taking him to protests.
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