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Chilean Consul to Maracaibo speaks to press after his daughter is murdered

posted 18 Mar 2012, 13:19 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 18 Mar 2012, 13:20 ]

Chile's Consul to Maracaibo tells the press that his 19 year-old daughter was apparently shot dead by police after the car in which she and her brother were riding was stopped by a police squad.

MARACAIBO, VENEZUELA (MARCH 17, 2012)  (GLOBOVISION) - Speaking to members of the press for the first time Saturday (March 17) since his daughter was killed in a hail of bullets, Chile's Consul to Maracaibo voiced his disbelief at the situation that gave rise to the tragedy.

"My son went to leave my daughter five blocks away for a little birthday party and well, when he turned the corner he was met by a police patrol that instead of stopping them what they did was point (their guns) at them," explained Fernando Berendique Benavente after his daughters funeral. "Then he (his son) got scared and they began to fire."

"My car has six bullet holes so I say what is the criteria, my God, who are these people?"

The 19-year old daughter of Chile's consul in the western Venezuelan city of Maracaibo was shot and killed allegedly by Venezuelan police officers who opened fire on the car in which she was travelling.

Local media reported that Karen Berendique was travelling with her brother when officers belonging to the the country's Scientific and Criminal Police (CICPC) opened fire on their vehicle at a checkpoint in the north of the city. She was then taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

CICPC has still not commented on the incident. Local media also report that eight officers were involved and that at least two have been detained in relation to the incident.

The death of Berendique is the latest of several violent incidents involving the diplomatic community in Venezuela.

In November, Chile's consul in Caracas, Juan Carlos Fernandez, was robbed, briefly held captive and badly beaten after leaving a hotel.

In January, the Mexican Ambassador in the country, Carlos Pujalte, and his wife were kidnapped by armed men in a residential area of Caracas. The two were freed several hours later.