Just before midnight in the western Venezuelan city of San Cristobal, the Bolivarian National Guard stormed and shot tear gas into barricades that protesters had built at several intersections. News reports and witnesses on social media say the elderly and children living inside nearby residential buildings were choked by the fumes.
The clash marked another outbreak of violence between Venezuelan soldiers and people protesting the country’s economic stagnation and descent into chaos. Last week, a Venezuelan soldier and a motorcyclist were killed in a confused melee on the streets of Caracas.
Late in the evening Sunday, guardsmen roared into the protesters encampment and started firing tear gas, video of the incident shows.
Afterward, witness Beatriz Font, a local TV journalist, mourned the clash. “Now you live in fear at the approach of midnight because you know something will take your dream,” she Tweeted. “Here in San Cristóbal, the candles go out, throw them in gasoline.”