CARACAS, Venezuela – A Venezuelan official said a 22-year-old former beauty queen has died after being shot in the head, becoming the fifth fatality of this week's violent confrontations between pro- and anti-government supporters.
Mayor Enzo Scrano said Genesis Carmona died Wednesday afternoon in the city of Valencia from a head wound. Scrano is an opposition mayor in one of the districts that make up the city of Valencia.
Carmona was Miss Tourism 2013 for the state of Carabobo when she was 21 and was a working professional model.
She was struck by a bullet Tuesday when unknown gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on opposition protesters. Carmona was a student at the Technology University of Valencia studying social sciences, according to Venezuelan TV network, Globovision.
"She was operated on yesterday, but her progress was not satisfactory. She died today at 12:15 noon," said Dr. Carlos Rosales, head of the Intensive Care Unit of Clinical Mendez Guerra of Valencia, where Carmona remained hospitalized.
The death comes following a dramatic surrender and a night in jail by Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, accused by President Nicolas Maduro of inciting clashes that have led to at least five deaths this past week – and of attempting to destabilize the Chavista government.
Lopez has emerged in recent months as a new, more aggressive face of Venezuela's opposition, telling thousands of cheering supporters who watched his surrender on Tuesday that he does not fear imprisonment if it will help undo what he considers the damage done by 15 years of socialist rule launched by the late Hugo Chavez.
Lopez was scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday afternoon, when he's expected to learn the charges he may face for allegedly provoking violence against the socialist government in the divided nation.
Carmona is Venezuela’s second beauty queen to die due to violence in the nation over the last two months. Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear, 29, and her ex-husband were fatally shot in front of her five year old wounded daughter in January during a botched robbery.
Venezuela, a nation of roughly 29 million people, experienced 39 murders per 100,000 residents in 2013, according to official statistics, but the independent Venezuelan Violence Observatory estimates the homicide rate was actually 79 per 100,000.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.