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Venezuelan former national head charged

The former head of the country’s national guard Antonio Benavides has been charged by the Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega with allegations of systematic human rights violations during deadly anti-government protests.

Benavides was removed from his post last week after his troops were captured on film firing handguns at protesters, but was soon reassigned to a position as head of Venezuela’s Capital District government.

In a statement Thursday, Ortega’s office said Antonio Benavides Torres, former commander of the national guard, has been charged in connection with “serious and systematic human rights violations” during the ongoing protests.

In recent months, anti-government demonstrators have crowded the streets of Venezuela, demanding general elections and the early resignation of current president Nicolas Maduro. Protesters have long accused Maduro of carrying out an authoritarian regime by jailing opposition leaders, censoring news outlets, and attempting to rewrite the nation’s constitution for political gains.

Benavides Torres was removed from his national guard post last week and named head of government of the capital district.

The political turmoil gripping the country took was escalated on Tuesday night with an attack by a police helicopter on the Supreme Court.

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