Human rights groups: hundreds captured during Venezuelan blackout, at least four killed


Rights groups Provea and the Venezuelan Social Conflict Observatory said on Twitter that four people were killed and more than 300 were detained for protesting and plundering that occurred during the recent power outage in Venezuela, according to The Guardian.

The country has been entangled by the forging of economic and political crises and suffered a major technical failure last week at a major power plant that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed as a US-backed sabotage campaign.

But critics and experts in the Venezuelan electricity system said the failure was most likely due to the fact that there were no staff available to correctly restart the turbines.

The rights groups said that three people were killed in the central state of Lara and one person was killed in the western state of Zulia; with the cause of the dead unclear.

Alfredo Romero of rights group Foro Penal said during a press conference that 124 people were trapped in protests against the power outage while another 124 were arrested for looting.

The Venezuelan information agency did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Most of the country recovered on Thursday, after people had spent a few days without access to fresh water, internet services and transportation.

But many still had no power, with more blackouts predicted for the future in the country, according to experts.

A new report from the technical faculty of the Central University of Venezuela confirmed that the power outage occurred after a forest fire broke out near Malena station.

The report reported that either the fire destroyed part of the transmission network, which could take 60 days to repair, or the fire could have turned the turbines off, which could take up to three years to change.

Minister of Communications, Jorge Rodríguez, said the worst was over: "At present almost all electrical energy supplies have been restored throughout the national territory."

Many in Caracas described life through the last week as life by the apocalypse with many in Caracas taking water from polluted rivers or dubious springs.

Venezuela is in a deep political crisis this year since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president since last year's re-election of Maduro was a sham with widespread harassment and intimidation of voters., Maureen Foody