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Venezuela sets up truth commission to probe protests

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Caracas: Venezuela’s new Constituent Assembly (ANC) has created a Truth, Justice and Reparations Commission to investigate the violent protests which have caused more than 100 deaths, President Nicolas Maduro has said.

The ANC, whose members were elected on July 30, convened for the first time on Saturday, aiming to identify those responsible for the deaths and to make compensation to the victims’ families, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The Constituent Assembly got off on the right foot,” Maduro said on Sunday.

“Yesterday (Saturday), they made a magnificent decision, because they created (the commission) by constituent decree.”

Commission members are looking into the latest wave of violent anti-government protests since April, as well as mass rallies during the first months of 2014 protesting the country’s high levels of urban violence, inflation, and chronic shortages of basic goods attributed to economic policies.

The commission will have the power to summon “the perpetrators so that the court trials can begin in order to establish the truth (and) the foundations for a process of justice and pardon”, said Maduro.

ANC President Delcy Rodriguez will preside over the commission.

The President also welcomed the ANC’s decision to remove the sitting prosecutor general, Luisa Ortega Diaz, a vocal Maduro critic, and named former ombudsman Tarek William Saab as a temporary replacement.

The government said the removal was necessary because Ortega herself is under investigation for fanning political violence.

IANS

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