TORONTO – The political unrest in Venezuela has spawned an online campaign for peace with beauty queens posting photos of themselves with the hashtag #Misses4Peace.
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Started by Miss Trujillo 2005, Angelika Hernandez, #Misses4Peace “tries to join Misses and ex-Misses voices in a cry to the global community to help them find peace and harmony in their country,” it says in a statement on her YouTube channel.
Venezuela has more Miss World and Miss Universe titles than any other country, with a total of thirteen.
In February, 22-year-old Genesis Carmona, Miss Tourism 2013 for the central Venezuelan state of Carabobo, was shot down by members of the armed militias known as “colectivos” who opened fire on a demonstration in Valencia.
READ MORE: Beauty queen killed during political protest mourned in Venezuela
Carmona, who was in her final year in a marketing program at a university in Valencia, was not ardently political, friends and family said. Her uncle said she was drawn to the rally by the dismal economic conditions that the oil-rich country has experienced after 15 years of socialism-inspired policies and that her mother had gone with her to protect her.
Monica Spear, a popular soap-opera actress and former Miss Venezuela, was shot and killed along with her ex-husband in January when they resisted robbers by locking themselves inside their car after tire punctures disabled it on an isolated stretch of highway. Their 5-year-old daughter was wounded in the incident as well.
Seven people were arrested for their deaths after a digital camera stolen in the crime was discovered.
READ MORE: Outrage over beauty queen’s slaying a call to action in crime-wracked Venezuela
“This is not a political initiative, but we do demand PEACE for our beloved Venezuela,” it says on Hernandez’s YouTube channel.
On Monday, Air Canada suspended flights to and from Venezuela as they can no longer ensure the safety of its operation there. They said they will resume flying into the country once they are “satisfied that the situation in Venezuela has stabilized.”
The #Misses4Peace campaign has spread far since launching in February with beauty queens from around the world getting involved.
Miss Venezuela 1971. #Misses4Peace #SOSVenezuela pic.twitter杭州夜网/hvuT4yleqd
— MissUniversUsa杭州夜网 (@MissUniversNEWS) March 12, 2014
“@MissUniversNEWS: Miss Universe Spain 2011. #Misses4Peace #PrayForVenezuela pic.twitter杭州夜网/7exyVGZxyy”
— Juan Guerrero (@camilodeasis) February 26, 2014
Con hashtags como #SOSVenezuela y #Misses4Peace, reinas de belleza piden en las redes por la paz del vecino país. pic.twitter杭州夜网/srKOpjQX4G
— Noticias RCN (@NoticiasRCN) February 25, 2014
#misses4peace, gritemos con Brios, Muera la opresion…. Venezuela, busquemos la luz, con paz,y amor!! pic.twitter杭州夜网/Imp1h3FbJr
— Kim Loewenthal (@KimLoewenthal) March 12, 2014
“@TodoMiss: Miss Amazonas 1986 @yukencysapucki como parte de la Campaña #Misses4Peace. #PrayForVenezuela 杭州桑拿按摩论坛t.co/UQZYeztSR0”
— CayrellGonzález (@Cayrell) March 2, 2014
Ya en sintonía de @sabadoenlanoche para conocer un poco más de #Misses4peace de la mano de @AndreaMatthies pic.twitter杭州夜网/Yfbdt7tP9r
— Misses4Peace (@misses4peace) March 2, 2014
“@ibepacheco: “@PilinLeon: súmate con todas las Exreinas mensaje d paz #Misses4Peace #PrayForVenezuela pic.twitter杭州夜网/xpeSKTThxM””
— Jose Luis Baptista U (@JoseLBaptistadr) March 4, 2014
“@TodoMiss: Miss Barinas 1998 @angiepereztv como parte de la Campaña #Misses4Peace. #PrayForVenezuela 杭州桑拿按摩论坛t.co/1FH93jA8F0” Gracias! DLB!
— Angie Perez (@angiepereztv) February 21, 2014
-With files from The Associated Press