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Venezuela cites some 'excesses' against protesters

Sunday - 3/23/2014, 6:12pm  ET

A masked anti-government protester uses a slingshot to shoot marbles at Bolivarian National guards during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 22, 2014. Two more people were reported dead in Venezuela as a result of anti-government protests even as supporters and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets on Saturday in new shows of force. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's attorney general says some security force members have committed "excesses" in dealing with anti-government protesters, but insists most officers are following the law.

Attorney General Luisa Ortega says prosecutors are pursuing 60 investigations into alleged human rights violations by security force members in confronting protests that began five weeks ago.

Ortega said Sunday that 15 police officers have been arrested so far. She says the arrests show authorities intend to punish any violations.

The protests against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist administration have been mostly peaceful, but small bands of activists often clash with police and National Guard troops.

Protesters complain about Venezuela's high inflation, shortages of basic goods and violent crime. Maduro contends the opposition-led demonstrations are an attempt at a coup.


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