3 people die as chaotic scenes of looting increase

Three people are killed during violent scrambles for food in Venezuela during the last week. They include a 42-year-old woman who died after being shot in the face when looters raided state food warehouses. Her family claim that a policeman fired the shot.   . 

At a press conference, Deputy Labor Minister Jose Ramon Rivero and union leaders blame“private businesses” for spreading images of food shortages as part of an “economic war” and effort to “sabotage the Bolivarian revolution.” However, an AP feature says that Venezuelans are increasingly picking through trash to eat or sell. This includes those who consider themselves middle-class. A recent survey found that nearly half of Venezuelans can no longer afford to eat three meals a day.

Some 9,000 “committees” across the country, set up in March by Maduro, made up of government loyalists are now increasingly directly handling the distribution of whatever groceries are still available. The opposition says that the system amounts to discriminatory rationing.