Student opposition leader gunned down in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a student leader who helped organize protests against constitutional amendments proposed by President Hugo Chavez.

Julio Soto, a student leader at the University of Zulia, was killed Wednesday by unidentified gunmen in the western city of Maracaibo.

Local Police Chief Jose Gonzalez said he believes Soto was specifically targeted because the assailants sprayed his vehicle with gunfire and then fled without taking anything.

But Justice Minister Tarek El Aissami said federal authorities have not yet determined if the killing was a politically motivated hit.

Soto was a member of the Copei opposition party. Voters rejected Chavez’s proposed reforms in December.


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