CARACAS, Venezuela, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- A police officer in Venezuela was killed during an anti-government protest demanding a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro be allowed to proceed.
The Venezuelan opposition held a nationwide protest on Wednesday in response to last week's announcement by the National Electoral Council that the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition's efforts to recall Maduro were suspended pending a fraud investigation.
In a statement, the Public Ministry said at least 80 people were arrested in nine Venezuelan states, including the Miranda state where officer José Molina Ramírez was killed.
"Deceased officer took bullet in the abdomen. He died when being treated in the clinic of Los Salias," Miguel Mederico, spokesman for the Miranda police, said in a statement.
Mederico said two people have been arrested and authorities are attempting to determine whether they were connected to the officer's death.
Henrique Capriles Radonski, a former presidential candidate who is governor of Venezuela's Miranda state, said more than 120 people were injured and 147 were arrested during the "Taking of Venezuela" protest, which comes after the "Taking of Caracas" protest in early September.
Maduro's regime and the opposition have accused one another of violating Venezuela's constitution. The opposition, which controls the National Assembly, accuses Venezuela's institutions of making decisions to keep Maduro's socialist regime in power, while Maduro's regime accuses the opposition of undermining democracy by working with pro-capitalist companies and international actors, including the United States, to destabilize his government and the economy.
The South American country is facing a political and economic crisis where basic goods such as food and medicine are in short supply, unavailable or unaffordable. The United Nation's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean predicts Venezuela's gross domestic product will decrease 4 percent in 2017.
One video showing a protest gathering in a Caracas highway was released via Twitter.
Toma aérea de la impresionante manifestación opositora hoy en Caracas (Vídeo) pic.twitter.com/gXYvuEvDLr— Mario Buffone (@MarioBuffoneL) October 26, 2016