Right-wing Venezuelan opposition protesters shot and killed 13-year-old Bryan Principal in the country’s Ali Primera Socialist City on Tuesday, Radio Nacional de Venezuela reports, escalating ongoing anti-government violence.
Protesters toppled the main gate of the Ali Primera Socialist City, a commune established by the Bolivarian Revolution in 2014 for low-income citizens, firing guns at residents and mortally wounding Bryan with two rounds. Protesters also burned and damaged several homes in the area.
Bryan was immediately sent to a hospital in nearby Barquisimeto on Thursday night, eventually passing away on Wednesday morning.
“We call on the alleged leaders of the Venezuelan opposition to take responsibility for these acts and condemn them. Enough of violence, sabotage and media wars — Venezuela is free and wants to live in peace,” Ali Primera Socialist City residents said in a statement.
“We want complete justice for the events that took place in our commune last night to make sure they do not go unpunished. We want those responsible to go to prison.”
The Bolivarian National Police is currently investigating Bryan's murder, Radio Nacional de Venezuela also reports.
Bryan's death adds to the three others, including two young university students in Miranda and Carabobo who were 19 and 20, and a 36-year-old man in Barquisimeto, as well as dozens of injured people.
For over two weeks, violent anti-government demonstrations have repeatedly been held in several Venezuelan cities, with most protests taking place in Caracas. The demonstrations were organized in response to a recent decision by the Supreme Court to temporarily assume some responsibilities of the National Assembly as long as the legislature continued to be “in contempt” of the constitution.
Although the ruling was overturned within days, opposition leaders continue to promote violent protests aimed at toppling President Nicolas Maduro. Right-wing violence in Venezuela has gotten so bad that Maduro has called on the Organization of American States, OAS, to condemn these acts.
The OAS, however, has turned a blind eye to Maduro’s request, instead attacking the Venezuelan government over alleged “human rights abuses.”
“We are still waiting for a statement by the OAS about violent acts called by the opposition, which curtail the rights of Venezuelans,” Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on his Twitter account Tuesday.
Ali Primera Socialist City is named after Ali Primera, a legendary Venezuelan musician and leftist activist dubbed “The People’s Singer.”