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Venezuelan police shoot and kill Chilean diplomat's daughter

Karen Berendique died after police opened fire at a checkpoint in Venezuela.

Chilean Consul Fernando Berendique Enlarge
Chilean Consul Fernando Berendique (R) carries, with relatives and friends, the coffin of his daughter Karen Vanessa Berendique, who was shot dead earlier on March 17, 2012, in her car in a confused incident that is being investigated by the prosecution, in Maracaibo, state of Venezuela. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Karen Berendique, the 19-year-old daughter of a Chilean diplomat, was shot to death by Venezuelan police today, the Associated Press reported.

Berendique's father, Fernando Berendique, told BBC News that his son and his daughter were on their way to a birthday party. 

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Police said that the car, driven by the son, didn't stop at a checkpoint. But the Chilean consul told the BBC that the police didn't even ask the car to stop. Instead, he said, the police just pointed their guns at the car for no reason. He said the son then panicked. The police opened fire and left six bullet holes on the car. 

"It is the product of irresponsibility and the product of a lack of respect for human life here," the father told the BBC. 

The AP said that 11 police officers are now under investigation and noted that violent crime is rampant in Venezuela.

The Guardian reported in 2009 that police forces across Latin America are known for corruption and excessive violence, "a result of poorly trained, poorly paid forces with free rein to tackle drug gang mayhem."

The paper said at the time that 20 percent of all crimes in Venezuela were committed by police. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/120317/venezuela-police-shoot-and-kill-chilean-diplomats-daughter-berendique