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Chilean Envoy's Daughter Shot Dead

Venezuela busts 12 officers in checkpoint shooting
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2012 12:02 AM CDT
Updated Mar 19, 2012 1:40 AM CDT
Chilean Envoy's Daughter Shot Dead
Chilean Consul in Venezuela Fernando Berendique (right) helps to carry the coffin of his 19-year-old daughter in Maracaibo, Venezuela.   (AP Photo/Fabiola Portillo)

(Newser) – The Venezuelan government is apologizing for the shooting death of the 19-year-old daughter of the Chilean envoy, killed at a security checkpoint. Twelve officers have been arrested. Karen Berendique was shot three times as she sat in a car with her brother when the officers opened fire in the western city of Maracaibo, reports the Guardian. "The government expresses its condolences and regrets to the Berendique family, and guarantees that those responsible will be punished with absolute firmness and objectivity," the government statement said. "We condemn and reject this kind of police malpractice," said the nation's security chief.

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Consul Fernando Berendique told local newspapers that his son pulled over "when he saw his sister was unconscious and wounded." Officers, who were reportedly hunting for robbers "told him they fired because he didn't stop," said Berendique. Violence is a major problem in the nation, and police have been linked to serious crimes in the past. Last year another Chilean consul was shot and beaten during a kidnapping in Caracus. (Read more Karn Berendique stories.)

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