Venezuela cites some 'excesses' against protesters

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Associated Press

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 23 at 9:04 PM

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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