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Venezuela mayor
stabbed to death
in his own home

Caracas, 21 July 2014: The body of a prominent Venezuelan opposition mayor was discovered yesterday in his home after unknown assailants had stabbed him to death. A police spokesman said that Enrique Franceschi, the mayor of the city of Arismendi Rio Caribe, was found with multiple stab wounds. The 34-year old victim was a member of the Mesa de Unidad Democratica (Democratic Unity Roundtable), an alliance of centrist and centre-left parties opposed to the country’s socialist government. Antonio Ledezma, the mayor of Venezuela’s capital Caracas and a party colleague, said in a statement all the country’s mayors will mourn a respected colleague who had a promising political future ahead of him.

While there are some speculations that the murder might be politically motivated, the newspaper El Nacional was told by unnamed police sources that a group of men entered the house of the mayor intending to carry out a robbery. Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in South America. Opposition politicians claim there are 74 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, a figure which is, however, disputed by the government.

Franceschi has been mayor of Arismendi, a town of 35,000 people in the State of Sucre, since December 2011.

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