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Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets
People queue to buy staple items in a Mercal, a subsidized state-run street market, in Caracas August 4, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets

Venezuelan supermarkets are increasingly being targeted by looters as swollen lines and prolonged food shortages spark frustration in the OPEC nation struggling with an economic crisis.

Shoppers routinely spend hours in lines to buy consumer staples ranging from corn flour to laundry soap, turning lines into venues for shoving matches and now more frequent attempts to plunder shops.

The economic crisis has hit President Nicolas Maduro’s approval ratings and raised tension levels in the country.

Fifty-six incidents of looting and 76 looting attempts took place in the first half of 2015, according local NGO Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, which based the figures on media reports and testimony of observers around the country.

On Sunday, a small crowd in the western city of San Cristobal pushed its way into the government-run Bicentenario supermarket to grab products after it had closed, leaving staff scratched and bruised, according to store manager Edward Perez.

 

Source: Looting and violence on the rise in Venezuela supermarkets | Reuters