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Venezuela frees jailed anti-government activists

By on December 31, 2016

CARACAS — Venezuela’s government has freed from jail a former presidential candidate and several student activists arrested during anti-government protests in 2014.

Former candidate Manuel Rosales was jailed in October 2015 on charges of illicit enrichment upon returning to Venezuela from exile in Peru. A former governor of Zulia state who ran for president in 2006 was freed before dawn Saturday along with five other activists who opposition groups considered political prisoners.

The most prominent activist released was Gerardo Carrero. He led a group of students who camped for weeks outside the U.N. offices in Caracas to draw attention to a government crackdown on protests blamed for scores of deaths.

Human rights groups say at least 100 people remain jailed for opposing President Nicolas Maduro‘s socialist government.

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