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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Venezuelan Beauty Queen Is Among Protesters Killed

Genesis Carmona was carried off on a motorcycle after being shot during a protest against Venezuela's government on Tuesday.Mauricio Ceneno-Notitarde/Reuters Genesis Carmona was carried off on a motorcycle after being shot during a protest against Venezuela’s government on Tuesday.

A 22-year-old beauty queen, shot while attending a protest march in Venezuela, is one of five people killed since demonstrations around the country turned violent in the last week.

Genesis Carmona, who was crowned Miss Tourism 2013 from her home state, Carabobo, quickly became the face of the growing student protest movement as news of her death on Wednesday spread across social media networks.

As my colleague William Neuman reports from Caracas, protests escalated Thursday in several cities against President Nicolás Madura’s 10-month-old government. Mr. Neuman notes the protests are fueled by frustration over rising violent crime rates, a stalled economy, limits on cv of expression and other issues. Also on Thursday, some charges were dropped against the opposition leader Leopoldo López, who was jailed on Tuesday.

Ms. Carmona died of her injuries on Wednesday.El Carabobeno, via European Pressphoto Agency Ms. Carmona died of her injuries on Wednesday.

One photo after another of Ms. Carmona was posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks amid reports that the government was limiting image sharing on Twitter and overall media coverage of the unrest.

The photos of Ms. Carmona included her official portraits as a beauty queen and dramatic pictures of her being carried after she was shot Tuesday by a man driving a motorcycle. Some photos were from inside the hospital in Valencia where she was treated before she died on Wednesday.

One post on Twitter that included a collection of photos claimed to show an X-ray of where the bullet pierced her skull.

According to a statement released by Miguel Cocchiola, the mayor of Valencia, the capital of Carabobo, Ms. Carmona was one of several people attacked while marching on Tuesday. Twelve others were injured, the mayor said.

In this photo, Ms. Carmona is holding a sign during a protest.

In a statement and in an interview with reporters, Mr. Cocchiola urged law enforcement authorities to determine who was behind the attack that killed Ms. Carmona and injured the others.

“It is the duty of the prosecution to establish responsibilities immediately on the death of the young Genesis Carmona, and the authorities to call for peace, the cessation of violence,” the mayor said in an interview with reporters, as he also stressed that the right to protest was enshrined in the country’s Constitution.

According to Ms. Carmona’s friends, this is the last photo she took.

Mr. Neuman, my colleague, reported that Mr. López, the opposition leader, walked through thousands of supporters before turning himself in on Tuesday.

Mr. López released a message on YouTube that had more than 1.4 million views since he his arrest.

Anti-Putin Punk Activists Release New Music Video

Suspicions that footage of Pussy Riot activists being manhandled by the police in Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday and whipped by Cossacks on Wednesday might help the feminist collective make its point about state repression were proved correct on Thursday, with the release of the group’s latest music video, “Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland.”

The latest music video from Pussy Riot, the Russian protest group, “Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland.”

The video from the performance artists, who looked to American Riot Grrrl bands of the 1990s for inspiration, weaves together footage of the women being assaulted by the authorities this week with images of them dancing in front of the Olympic rings outside Sochi’s city hall on Wednesday.

The clip was posted on YouTube with an English translation of the lyrics and a dedication, which calls for “freedom to all political prisoners,” including demonstrators who were detained during street protests on May 6, 2012, and the Sochi activist Evgeny Vitishko, who was sentenced to three years in jail.

Follow Robert Mackey on Twitter @robertmackey.

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