Venezuelan envoy denies student responsibility for violent protests
SANTIAGO, Feb. 20 (Xinhua/Sun) -- Venezuela's ambassador to Chile Arevalo Mendez Thursday questioned the assertion that disgruntled students were behind ongoing violent protests in his country, during which six have been killed and dozens injured.
In an interview with Chile's ADN radio station, Mendez said escalating violence led authorities to doubt the widely-held belief that students were agitating against the government.
"What has happened, especially at night, when armed people come out to shoot at the public (security) forces, to shoot at the (government) buildings, to burn tires, to destroy vehicles -- isn't student behavior," said Mendez.
Mendez said that of those arrested for vandalism and other crimes, only 11 were students.
Violent protests first broke out on Feb. 12, after political opposition groups called on their supporters to protest against high crime rates, corruption and economic woes.