Keeping Track of Venezuela’s Dead

David Smilde

El Universal has a list of 25 people who have died in the protests during the last month. Here are some quick tabulations.

(These numbers are slightly different from what I posted on Twitter a couple of hours ago since El Universal has updated its list. I have also recalculated and recounted leading to some corrections. I have omitted one person from the list since El Universal says no information on the death is available; thus my calculations are based on 24 deaths. Many of these reports are not fully confirmed. So the numbers could change as more investigations produce more information.)

*Among the dead are: 10 opposition activists, 4 government supporters, 7 citizens not participating in the protests, 3 National Guardsman.

*4 deaths are directly attributable to security forces, 12 from shots fired by unidentified gunmen. 6 have died in accidents caused by barricades, 2 in accidents occurring during the course of protests.

*Of the 12 shot by unidentified gunmen, 5 are opposition activists, 3 are government supporters, 3 are National Guardsmen and 1 is a nonparticipant.

I should say that I find categorizing deaths unpleasant and unfortunate. All of these deaths are equally tragic and it is important not to forget that behind the numbers are individuals and their grieving loved ones.

However, the numbers are easily distorted by people with partisan motivations. Thus being rigorous can improve accountability. If you think I got it wrong, let me know at: @dsmilde.

See also Jake Johnston’s frequent updates on CEPR’s blog.