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El Paso woman witnesses violent Venezuela clashes

By: Stephanie Guadian 
EL PASO, Texas - Melanie Martin, a behavioral therapist, moved from El Paso to Caracas last year to work for a family with a special needs child. She lives in an affluent neighborhood -- but that hasn't stopped the recent violence from reaching her front door.

Last night, I couldn't sleep because there were gunshots and explosions. All of my friends in an area about five minutes from here were frantically on Twitter saying the National Guard is firing at buildings, firing tear gas right into buildings, robbing people on motorcycles and just wreaking havoc, said Martin.

Demonstrators are protesting against President Nicolas Maduro's Socialist government. They are also demanding the release of opposition leader -- Leopoldo Lopez. He's being held on charges that include arson and criminal incitement.

People are just fed up. So they took to the streets. The students were demanding better security, demanding action from their government. And they have largely been met with oppression and violence by the National Guard, said Martin.

Genesis Carmona is among the dead. The rising model and beauty queen supported the opposition. She was shot in the head during a protest.

Melanie fears more deaths will follow. She wants her family back in the borderland home to know she's safe, but desperate to come home.

It's just incredibly unsafe and you just never really know what's going to happen. I'm going to leave very soon. We are trying to get me a flight out of here, said Martin.

 

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