How Did the Venezuelan Recall Referendum of 2004 Affect Him?

This referendum was held in August of 2004 and was meant to determine whether Hugo Chavez, who was President of Venezuela at the time, should be recalled from his office. The National Electoral Council originally announced the recall referendum in June of that year, not long after the Venezuelan opposition was able to collect the required number of signatures to trigger the recall.
Thor Halvorssen Mendoza's mother, Hilda Mendoza Denham, was attending a peaceful protest during that very referendum when she was shot by government supporters who fired openly into a crowd of people. The shooting was captured by a live television broadcast and showed the gunmen shooting into the crowd, where 12 people were wounded and one was left dead. Denham was killed in the shooting.
He published an article about these events in the Wall Street Journal, where he stated that members of the country’s government security shot at unarmed protestors. While these gunmen were eventually apprehended and found guilty, they were released after serving six months of their prison sentence.

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