Venezuela food shortages prompt wave of looting

By Daniel Uria  |  Jan. 18, 2018 at 7:21 PM
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Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A wave of looting has swept through Venezuela as inflation and worsening food shortages plague the South American country.

There were 107 reports of looting or attempted looting through the first 11 days of January, according to the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict. The rights group said the total is more than have been reported in the month of January throughout the last three years combined.

German Gomez, director of Security for the state of Merida, said a group people killed a cow with stones, presumably to distribute its meat.

He added there were multiple incidents of looting between Tuesday and Thursday of last week, some of which turned violent, resulting in the death of four people.

In the state of Aragua group of people used logs to block vehicles on the Regional Highway Center near the La Victoria toll road at around 10 p.m. on Sunday to loot a food truck, El Nacional reported.

Photos and videos from the scene showed dozens of people stealing cheeses from a truck.

Another incident in the state took place Tuesday when a group looted a truck carrying live chickens on the National Highway.

The people said they grabbed the chickens because they were hungry and police eventually arrived at the scene to control the situation, which left the road closed for several hours.

Fear of looting has caused some stores that do have food and other supplies to close their doors.

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