Venezuelan students are launching a signature-gathering effort to pressure the government to reverse a regulation that allows police to use deadly force against protesters.

The socialist South American country adopted the regulation in January, drawing criticism from opposition leaders. The debate gained urgency this week after a police officer killed a 14 year-old boy at an anti-government protest.

Students were circulating a petition Friday to call on the justice ministry to repeal the regulation.

Kluiverth Roa was shot in the head by an officer who's expected to be prosecuted in connection with his death. Officials say he used plastic ammunition. The boy's family believes live rounds were used.

Roa was the first person to die during a protest since the adoption of the regulation, known as resolution 8610.