CARACAS, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A throng of elderly people marched through the main streets of Venezuela's capital Caracas Sunday, protesting recent political violence by right-wing groups and calling for peace.
The marchers first gathered at the city's Bolivar Plaza just before noon, then marched towards the presidential palace of Miraflores, where President Nicolas Maduro presided over the festive demonstration accompanied by folk music.
During the event, Hector Rodriguez, vice president of Social Affairs, addressed the crowd, saying 76 percent of Venezuelans who have reached retirement age, receive a pension as stipulated by the Constitution.
"We have gone from some 300,000 pensioners (in 1998) to 2.6 million pensioners" now, said Rodriguez, who also serves as Education Minister.
He also touted the socialist government's efforts to improve the minimum wage by making cost of living adjustments several times a year.
The march was the second in as many days calling for peace, following mostly violent anti-government street protests that first broke out on Feb. 12. Violence has left nine people dead and another 137 injured, as well as the destruction of public buildings.
On Saturday, a similar march took place in Caracas and other parts of Venezuela, featuring women supporters of the socialist government.
Executive Vice President Jorge Arreaza, writing on Twitter, noted recent peace marches involved many different sectors of society.
"In just a week, youth, students, workers, women and elderly adults have mobilized against violence, in favor of peace (and) the nation," he wrote.