After seeing all the damage his station suffered from looters, Velez decided not to open, punishing everyone in the community, many of whom were looking desperately for gas.

“It breaks my heart, but I need to be calm about this. I can’t believe how people are so harsh. Is this nobody’s land now?” Velez wondered, and estimated that he will have to invest about $17,000 to reopen.

Another business owner who is fed up with the authorities, or the lack of them, is Marcelo Feliciano, who witnessed the looting of his restaurant.

“Since the [CCTV] cameras are not working, I come by often, and yesterday I caught them,” Feliciano said.