For months, citizens of Venezuela have waited in lines for hours to make basic purchases, but coupled with a steadily worsening electricity crisis, many Venezuelans have lost whatever patience they had left.
Supermarket lootings are becoming an everyday phenomenon as the country’s food crisis led to incidents of violence at many supermarkets.
This week, Venezuela saw a wave of looting that left at least two dead, numerous injured and millions of dollars in damages.
The Maracay Wholesale Market witnessed the desperation of countless Venezuelans when merchants were unable to organize the endless food lines. As time passed and no food was forthcoming, the Venezuelans took matters into their own hands and started jumping over the gates.
The crowd of more than 5,000 people looted mostly staples like flour, milk, oil and pasta. People from not just the city but from the entire state came to the supermarket over rumors that some products could only be found at Maracay.
Inevitably, an iron entrance gate collapsed under the onslaught of the crowd, leaving many injured.
In a similar incident, the Luvebras Supermarket located in the La Florida Province of Caracas also became the site of hunger-fueled violence.
Social media footage shows people falling down and scrabbling over each other to reach bags of rice. Not many places are selling cereal or grains anymore and in their desperation to get the products, the crowd “broke down doors and damaged the infrastructure.”
In the coastal city of Puerto Cabello, resident ransacked a corn warehouse because the workers were giving out insufficient portions.
Resident Glerimar Yohan, who wanted a little bit of corn for her children’s breakfast, was filled with disappointment as she was turned away empty handed.
“There’s no rice, no pasta, no flour,” Yohan told La Costa news. “Only hunger.”
The angry mob stole about 50 bags of unprocessed corn and set fire to tires and other objects.
Ramon Muchacho, the mayor of Chacao, warned that Colombia and the Caribbean islands might experience an influx of Venezuelans refugee if the food crisis continues.
Hungry Venezuelans have also come out to the streets to protest their children dying from starvation and disease.
A propósito de la noticia de ayer sobre unos militares que se robaron unos chivos para comer: pic.twitter.com/JjH2xdkRf7— RAMÓN MUCHACHO (@ramonmuchacho) May 3, 2016
Poverty and hunger has now reached a tipping point where people are hunting down pigeons, dogs and cats to feed their children, even in the richer regions of Caracas.
Even the Venezuela military is affected, and earlier this month six Venezuelan military officers at the Fort Manaure military base were arrested for stealing goats to curb their hunger.