Venezuela Death Toll Rises to 13 as Protests Flare

(Reuters) -

Anti-government demonstrators put up barricades and set fire to trash in Caracas on Monday despite calls from within the opposition to rein in protests that have led to 13 deaths in Venezuela.

Traffic in the capital slowed to a crawl and many stayed home as protesters burned trash and piled debris along main avenues a day after opposition leader Henrique Capriles called on them to keep demonstrations peaceful.

“We know we’re bothering people but we have to wake up Venezuela!” student Pablo Herrera, 23, said next to a barricade in the affluent Los Palos Grandes district of Caracas.

Authorities in the border state of Tachira the death of a man who fell from his second-storey apartment after being hit by a bullet.

The demonstrations are the biggest challenge to President Nicolas Maduro’s 10-month-old government, though there is no sign they could topple him or affect oil shipments. Venezuela is Latin America’s biggest exporter of crude oil and has the world’s largest petroleum reserves.

The government says 529 people have been charged over the unrest, with most given warnings.