- Title: Brigade of health volunteers saves Venezuelan protesters amid crisis
- Date: 22nd May 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) FOUNDER OF GREEN CROSS VOLUNTEERS DANIELA LIENDO WEARING A GAS MASK WITH PINK FILTERS AND WITH OTHER VOLUNTEERS CROUCHING ALONG BARRICADE ON HIGHWAY GENERAL VIEW OF LIENDO AND OTHER GREEN CROSS VOLUNTEERS CROUCHING ALONG HIGHWAY BARRICADE, WAITING TO SPRING INTO ACTION GREEN CROSS VOLUNTEERS CROUCHING, PROTESTERS IN BACKGROUND PROTESTERS WITH SHIELDS AMONG TEAR GAS VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEERS OF THE SO-CALLED GREEN CROSS TAKING INJURED PROTESTERS OUT OF CLASHES PROTESTERS AMID TEAR GAS MEMBERS OF THE GREEN CROSS TAKING AN INJURED PERSON AWAY ON A MOTORBIKE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FOUNDER OF THE GREEN CROSS FIRST AID BRIGADE, DANIELA LIENDO, SAYING: "We have a team that works closer to the front line that is focused on extraction, in that team we also have (drivers of) motorbikes which are completely voluntary, then further back he have the triage group which identifies if the patient can be attended to there or if it needs to be referred to a green zone where the majority of specialists can be found, and they will then decide if they need to be transferred to a hospital or if the (medical) attention can be completed there." MEMBERS OF THE GREEN CROSS WALKING WITH FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FOUNDER OF THE GREEN CROSS FIRST AID BRIGADE, DANIELA LIENDO, SAYING: "Now all the time, at all the protests, young people arrive with open wounds on their heads, with lacerations, burns of varying degrees, this is what we are facing every day and what we have been updating in our records in our network, because it is definitely not the same what we were seeing 50 days ago and now, and the materials that we need to go back to work." VARIOUS OF INJURED PEOPLE GOING BACK TO HEALTH CENTRE PARAMEDICS TAKING AN INJURED PERSON AWAY IN AN AMBULANCE MEMBERS OF THE GREEN CROSS ATTENDING TO INJURED PERSON INJURED YOUTH (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED, MASKED MAN, SAYING: "It is horrible, horrible, a lot of people are coming to the Chacao Health Centre with injuries, a lot of injuries, my brothers have wounds on their head." VARIOUS OF MEMBERS OF THE GREEN CROSS PREPARING INSTRUMENTS MEMBERS OF THE GREEN CROSS ON MOTORBIKES PARAMEDICS ATTENDING TO AN INJURED PERSON
- Embargoed: 5th June 2017 19:20
- Keywords: Nicolas Maduro crisis protests medicine health Venezuela
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HX8WNB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In Caracas, around 120 medicine students, doctors, and volunteers have revived a primary care response team first created during 2014's bout of anti-government protests, as the latest wave of demonstrations has led to a death toll of 47 and hundreds wounded protesters facing a collapsed health system.
While they wear white helmets with a green cross, none of the volunteers wear flak jackets and some resort to wearing goggles to protect themselves from tear gas. Their equipment has nearly all been donated or bought by the volunteers themselves, and they've had to create makeshift neck braces from shoes, belts, and hats.
Still, when the determined group walks through a protest in single file, demonstrators stop their shouts of "No more dictatorship!" and instead clap and cheer them on with yells of "Thank you!" and "Heroes!"
Founder, Daniela Liendo, says she did not study for such eventualities, but that caring for people on the front line has strengthened her resolve to remain in Venezuela and continue a career in medicine.
Amid a widespread feeling of abandonment in a country where the economy is thought to have contracted 19 percent last year and many basic services only function intermittently, the volunteer doctors are seen as a ray of hope.
Close-range rubber bullets, flying rocks, tear gas canisters and tear gas have caused the majority of wounds and health problems, according to over a dozen doctors and rights groups.
The group, which describes itself as apolitical, also treats security officials. Still, it has come under fire from some government supporters who compare them to Syria's White Helmets rescue workers, which says they are trying to hide paramilitary actions in the streets. The medical group refuted the accusations.
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