- (Photo: Indiatoday.in)
- (Photo: Daily Mail)
- (Photo: Reuters)
Genesis Carmona, a Venezuelan beauty queen and marketing student who was in a coma following a gunshot wound to the head, died Wednesday. She was shot during a peaceful demonstration amid the country's ongoing political turmoil.
Carmona's death marks the fifth fatality in Venezuela since students led a march last week against government corruption, violence and poverty.
"How long are we going to live like this? How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?" said a relative of Carmona, who asked to remain anonymous, reports New York Daily News. "She only needed one more semester to graduate."
On Tuesday, Carmona, 22, was protesting in Valencia, the country's third largest city, alongside fellow peers who were demanding better educational conditions and marching in support of opposition leader Leopoldo López, a Harvard-educated economist who spearheaded three weeks of demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro's government.
International news outlets report that at one point, a group of armed motorists interrupted the peaceful gathering and began shooting at the crowd. Images of Carmona being taken to a local clinic on a motorcycle went viral moments after she was struck in the head.
At the time, doctors immediately predicted she would lose her sight while her family hoped a miracle could save her. Her death, along with the news of other victims who have died in the last few days, has prompted Venezuelans to fight for peace in droves throughout the country and in other international cities.
Following her death, Lopez, who surrendered to authorities as he was accused of leading a plot to oust the socialist government, urged supporters to continue fighting for Maduro's resignation.
"If my jailing serves to awaken a people, serves to awaken Venezuela ... then it will be well worth the infamous imprisonment imposed upon me directly, with cowardice," said Lopez, according to ABC news.
Carmona was crowned Miss Tourism 2013 for the state of Carabobo. Prior to winning her title, she was famously known for being a model who strutted the runways of Venezuela's fashion week events.
She is the second model victim of violence to cause uproar in a country known to prize beauty queens. In January, late Venezuela model and actress Monica Spear was killed along with her ex-husband, Henry Berry, during a highway robbery while on vacation.