Thousands of women dressed in white have marched in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital to keep pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, whose authority is being increasingly challenged by protests and deadly unrest.
Led by opposition leaders, lawmakers and Lilian Tintori — the wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez — the crowd carried flowers and placards denouncing “repression.”
Police and soldiers initially prevented it from reaching the interior ministry. But the women — led by several lawmakers — eventually made it to the Interior and Justice ministries.
“We are not going to be off the streets until we have set Venezuela free,” conservative opposition leader Maria Corina Machado said. “We beg the armed forces: don’t open fire on unarmed people.”
Some women flashed their breasts in a pacifist move as some alongside Machado waved posters reading: “We have no firearms; just tits.”
Similar anti-Maduro rallies took place in other cities, including San Cristobal and Aragua, where police fired tear gas canisters against marchers.
Protests Saturday night in Los Nuevos Teques, on the outskirts of the capital, and Barquisimeto in the country’s west descended into clashes between demonstrators and the military. It was not immediately known if there were casualties.
More protests are set for Sunday with musicians and other celebrities marching to remember the dead.
The demonstrations were the latest in more than a month of anti-government protests, many of which have been countered by pro-Maduro crowds and security forces.
The death toll since April — when the protests intensified after Maduro’s administration and the courts stepped up efforts to undermine the opposition — is at least 36, according to prosecutors, with hundreds more injured.