Protesters destroy Hugo Chávez statue in Venezuelan town

Death toll of protests demanding change in Venezuela increases to 37

(Marco Castro/UN Photo)

CARACAS, Venezuela – A group of protesters vandalized a statue of Hugo Chávez at the center of a town in Venezuela.  Videos of their stunt were going viral among exiled Venezuelans in South Florida on Friday. 

The protesters from the Villa del Rosario in the state of Zulia dragged the statue of the former leader of their Bolivarian Revolution and left it in the middle of the street. 

They beat it until they removed its legs and head, and they tried to set it on fire twice before authorities arrived. The former president's boots were all that was left on the pedestal. 

Amid the failed promises of  Chávez's socialist revolution, opponents of his successor President Nicolas Maduro were demanding elections. Maduro hasn't been able to address the country's economic crisis. 

The death toll of the protests that began in April increased to 37 on Friday. A 20-year-old man who was shot in the head is the latest victim. The majority of the victims were in their 20s or younger and about half of them were killed with fire arms. 

WARNING: Expletives in Spanish

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