Venezuela enters crucial week in battle over constitution rewrite

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CARACAS: Pro- and anti-government groups are battling fiercely for public support over a contested plan by embattled President Nicolas Maduro to have a new body elected this month to rewrite the constitution. The opposition, energized by the release from jail of one of its emblematic leaders, Leopoldo Lopez, is leading the charge against the new assembly to be chosen in a July 30 election. On Monday it organized a demonstration in Caracas, during which dozens of protesters and some security force personnel confronting them were injured. Unrest also spread to other cities. With Maduro determined to see through the process—hich critics view as a way for him to bypass the opposition-led parliament—there are fears of more violence in the streets. Since April 1, more than 90 people have been killed during protests. The latest was a 16-year-old killed Monday in La Isabelica, a town in northern Venezuela’s Carabobo state, authorities said on Twitter.

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