Thu, Jan 22, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Police use tear gas, plastic bullets at Caracas protest


Police used tear gas, plastic bullets and a water cannon on Tuesday to break up a protest by university students against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s attempt to eliminate term limits.

Officers in anti-riot gear scattered more than 2,000 students after they set out from a Caracas plaza to demonstrate against a proposed constitutional amendment that would lift term limits for all elected officials, including Chavez.

No injuries were reported. Several dozen students later regrouped and threw rocks at police.

“We didn’t provoke the police. We’ve been victims of violence just as Chavez ordered,” student leader Juan Mejia said. “We are not going to stop.”

The National Assembly approved the proposed amendment last week, saying Chavez needs time for a transition to socialism.

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