Venezuelans under arrest after subway protest

Thirty-three demonstrators are being charged with impeding the railway while protesting its poor service

By Associated Press
Published November 12, 2010 11:06PM (EST)

Protesters complaining about poor subway service staged a demonstration inside a Caracas station Friday, and police arrested 33 people on charges of impeding the railway's operations.

Police Chief Luis Fernandez told Union Radio the "irresponsible people who boarded a train and stopped it" would be prosecuted. He did not offer details.

"No protest regarding the services offered by the subway system merit the infringment of the right to free circulation of more than 1.5 million commuters who use the Caracas metro everyday," the transporation ministry said in a statement after the arrests.

Elenis Rodriguez, a lawyer representing the protesters, denied the demonstrators were impeding the subway's operations.

She accused police officers of striking several demonstrators.

Subway service in Caracas has gradually deteriorated over the last several years due to lack of investment and maintanence. A shortage of trains often causes bottlenecks at the busiest subway stations during morning and evening rush hours.

Associated Press

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