World

Venezuelan street protests stretch through holiday; death toll raised to 17

Demonstrators hold up posters with images of Venezuelans who were killed in the past two weeks during the recent unrest, at a rally with human rights activists in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. The start of a weeklong string of holidays leading up to the March 5 anniversary of former President Hugo Chavez's death has not completely pulled demonstrators from the streets as the government apparently hoped. President Nicolas Maduro announced this week that he was adding Thursday and Friday to the already scheduled long Carnival weekend that includes Monday and Tuesday off, and many people interpreted it as an attempt to calm tensions. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Demonstrators hold up posters with images of Venezuelans who were killed in the past two weeks during the recent unrest, at a rally with human rights activists in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. The start of a weeklong string of holidays leading up to the March 5 anniversary of former President Hugo Chavez's death has not completely pulled demonstrators from the streets as the government apparently hoped. President Nicolas Maduro announced this week that he was adding Thursday and Friday to the already scheduled long Carnival weekend that includes Monday and Tuesday off, and many people interpreted it as an attempt to calm tensions. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)  (The Associated Press)

Scattered protest barricades continue to block streets in some Caracas neighborhoods and several hundred people gathered at a human rights demonstration as protests against the government persisted on the second day of national holidays.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor announced Friday that the death toll from about two weeks of anti-government street protests had increased by one to 17 with the shooting death of a youth who was cleaning a street in Carabobo state one day earlier. Student-led demonstrations have so far maintained a street presence, not just in the capital, but in cities including Valencia, Merida and San Cristobal.