Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters as he arrives at a rally with workers in Caracas February 25, 2014. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)
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In a case that has become a focus for brutality accusations against Venezuela's security forces, the 21-year-old Carrasco says he later found himself in a National Guard holding area.That last accusation has particularly incensed government critics, and is one of the most serious of allegations that human rights groups are leveling at Venezuela's military and police over this month's unrest.The government, however, specifically denies Carrasco's allegation and says it is part of a campaign of fabrication to denigrate President Nicolas Maduro's government and overshadow violence by demonstrators.One of the main groups tracking abuse allegations, the opposition-linked Venezuelan Penal Forum, says it has used medical records to confirm 18 cases of what it calls "torture," including Carrasco's.Some opposition leaders have gone further than local rights groups, speaking of "hundreds" of torture cases.
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