A deepening economic crisis and subsequent food shortage have driven many in Venezuela to loot and pillage for food.
A recent video from the country shows the gravity of this crisis and how it tears the social fabric in the country. The video follows a horde of starved Venezuelans following a cow grazing in the field. They raise chants of “We are hungry” and “the people are suffering.” The animal is then beaten with sticks and killed.
“They are hunting. The people are hungry,” a voice narrates in the video that was reportedly taken at the western Andean state of Merida on Thursday.
Opposition Congressman Carlos Paparoni shared the video to his social media, remarking that “these actions” will “bring more hunger.” He also claimed that 300 cows had been killed in the area by people foraging for food. The president of National Federal of Cattle Ranchers also said at least two ranches were attacked and cows slaughtered.
Paparoni also asserted hordes of people ransacked a truck of corn, a government-owned supermarket and a food collection center. His claims were confirmed by Zulay Urdaneta, a 50-year-old vet who witnessed the incidents.
“They knocked down the gates and looted flour, rice, cooking oil, cooking gas,” Urdaneta said, speaking of the looting of the supermarket. “The police and the National Guard tried to control the situation by giving out what was left.”
After four years of economic decline and hyper-inflation, the highest in the world, protests against food shortages in Venezuela have only intensified. Wednesday and Thursday were particularly deadly. Three people, including a 17-year-old, were killed and 16 injured during protests.
Opposition leaders blame the corruption and inefficient policies of President Nicolás Maduro for inflation and the resultant crises. Maduro has accused the opposition of colluding with foreign powers and brewing resistance against him.
Banner/Thumbnail: REUTERS, Marco Bello