Americas

Sorting fact from fiction in Venezuela protests

Updated 1926 GMT (0326 HKT) March 4, 2014
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The images of the Venezuela protests spreading online have been a mix of truths and half-truths, with some actually showing other world events. In this verified image, a student in Maracaibo lights a tire on fire on February 15. Note: The images in this gallery may be disturbing to some. (This gallery has been updated to include examples of photo manipulation by the government, in addition to the Venezuelan opposition.) Courtesy Roberto Carlo Rojas
This image, supposedly showing a sobbing Venezuelan student seeking comfort from an officer, is from a protest in Bulgaria in November. Courtesy Alba Ciudad
IReporter and professional photographer Roberto Carlo Rojas explained how students light tires on fire to close down streets. "Surprisingly, the police and some military personnel helped the students to close streets and protected them," he said of a February 15 protest in Maracaibo. Courtesy Roberto Carlo Rojas
People sharing this photo say a Venezuelan student was put in a headlock by a national guardsman. The original photo reveals that this was from a student protest in Chile in October 2011. Courtesy Alba Ciudad
"Damned are the media that give its people the cold shoulder," reads a sign held by a student protesting in Caracas on February 15. Protesters say national media are not reporting about the protests and the violence. Courtesy Carlos Becerra
People tweeting this photo this week alleged that it showed a child injured in the state of Tachira. This is actually an image of a child wounded in the Syrian conflict. The United Nations confirmed that chemical weapons were used against civilians, including children, in August. Courtesy Alba Ciudad
A protester in Caracas stands in front of a "piquete," a National Guard picket. Freelance photographer Carlos Becerra captured this image on February 15. Courtesy Carlos Becerra
Political analyst Esteban Gerbasi tweeted this photo, calling it an example of dictatorship. The Getty photo shows police firing rubber bullets at a protester during clashes in Rio de Janeiro on June 20. Courtesy Alba Ciudad
A young woman cries on February 13 at the spot where an opposition member was killed a day before in Caracas. Courtesy Carlos Becerra
Venezuelan Vice President Diosdado Cabello shared on television a photo showing an arsenal of "assault weapons" that he said belonged to a retired general involved in a standoff with authorities. The photo actually shows a collection of air rifles used by hobbyists. The photo was taken from the website of a rental shop in Wisconsin. airsoftbattlezone.com
Cabello also displayed this photo on television, claiming that one of the victims of the clashes was actually a mercenary who was killed by his own people for not following orders. The Venezuelan Airsoft Federation released a statement saying that in reality, the man was an Airsoft player with no military ties whatsoever. vtv