A Venezuelan teenager who lost his eyesight when he was hit by police buckshot during a protest, said he wants to continue studying.
Venezuelan Boy shot in the face by police loses both eyes

Police fired rubber bullets at the face of 16-year-old Rufo Chacón during a demonstration over a lack of cooking gas, early this month.

The boy’s family have been without gas since April amid the country’s economic collapse, according to reports.

WARNING - GRAPHIC PHOTO:

Images of the Rufo clutching his bloodied face right after he was sprayed with police pellets circulated widely on social media, causing revulsion among many Venezuelans accustomed to years of economic hardship and political conflict.

After the shooting, doctors plucked pellets from Rufo’s eye sockets and removed what remained of his eyeballs. Some pellet fragments were left in his face and head because they were too deeply embedded.

The blind boy spoke on Friday about difficult living conditions in his home state of Táchira, and his new life without sight.
Venezuelan Boy shot in the face by police loses both eyes

There were dabs of cream on his face, to heal wounds from the police projectiles.

"You see continuous darkness," Rufo told journalists outside the Caracas office of Foro Penal, a human rights group.

"It's like having your eyes shut and seeing nothing, absolutely nothing."

Despite the tragedy, Rufo still wants to continue his studies.

"I finished high school this year, and I want to go to college and study software engineering. Whatever happens with me, I still want to go to university.

His mother, Adriana Parada, said her son has good and bad days. She blamed Venezuela's problems on its government and said she gets angry sometimes when she thinks about her son's plight.

The 2019 Venezuelan protests are a collection of protests that have been organized, since 11 January, as a coordinated effort to remove Nicolás Maduro from the presidency.

Supporters of Chávez and Maduro say that the problems result from an "economic war" on Venezuela and "falling oil prices, international sanctions, and the country's business elite"; critics of the government say the cause is "years of economic mismanagement, and corruption".