Seven Wayuu members gunned down in western Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela (AP) May 2011

A Venezuelan official says seven members of an indigenous group, including two children, have been killed by unidentified assailants in the country’s west.

Deputy Security Minister Nestor Reverol says the victims belonging to the Wayuu tribe were shot as they were traveling in a pickup truck in the state of Zulia.

Reverol told state television on Sunday that a young girl who survived the shooting had been brought to a hospital under protection of the National Guard.

Police suspect the shooting deaths could have been linked to a family dispute between Wayuu tribe members, although investigations continue.

Violent crime is one of Venezuela’s most pressing problems, affecting citizens from all social classes.