Mar.1 - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Venezuela's government and opposition needs to come together for dialogue as protests erupt into new violence. Sarah Toms reports.
Gunshots resonate across Caracas. Anti-government protesters wielding stones and petrol bombs clash with police, who retaliate with water cannon. A body is covered in sheeting. A bullet lies nearby. The government says the person was killed by protesters after stealing from them. But this demonstrator denies the allegations. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROTESTER, KEVIN OROZCO, SAYING: "There is no food here, there are shortages here. Here no one can have their own home when they (authorities) pass by killing people left and right. They put a bullet in someone and they don't investigate anything because we have to shut up. We can't. We have to keep on fighting for freedom and Venezuela is our country. Don't screw it up." At least 17 people have been killed and more than 250 hurt in the unrest. They're demanding that protesters detained during the anti-government demonstrations be freed and that President Nicolas Maduro resigns. Both the government and opposition accuse each other of not being open to dialogue. But US Secretary of State John Kerry urges for talks to end the crisis. SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING: "Congress has urged sanctions. We are working very closely with Colombia and other countries to try to see how some kind of mediation might be able to take place, because it's obviously already proven very difficult to bring the two sides together by themselves. We have constantly indicated our willingness to develop a more constructive relationship with Venezuela." It's been more than two weeks since demonstrators have been burning rubbish and putting up barricades, in protest against high levels of crime, record inflation and food shortages....exposing Venezuelans deep discontent with the country's economic problems.