Food riots leave 3 dead in Venezuela during past week

Three people have been killed during food riots in Venezuela over the last week. Reuters reports all of the people killed were part of food riots taking place across the country:

The state prosecutor’s office is investigating the deaths of a 21-year-old man in eastern Sucre state on Saturday, another 21-year-old man in the Caracas slum of Petare on Thursday, and a 42-year-old woman in the western state of Tachira last Monday.

All three suffered gunshot wounds during chaotic scenes outside supermarkets, which have become a flashpoint for violence and looting amid scarcities of basics across the South American OPEC member country, according to local rights group Provea…

More than 10 incidents of looting are occurring daily, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a local monitoring group.

Venezuelans are suffering the results of skyrocketing inflation which makes it extremely difficult to find basic staples such as meat and rice. Many Venezuelans spend hours waiting in lines, not knowing if the store will receive any shipments at all that day. Some formerly middle-class people are now resorting to dumpster diving to find food. A recent AP story on the topic noted, “Nearly half of Venezuelans say they can no longer afford to eat three meals a day, according to a recent poll by the local firm Venebarometro.”

In addition to the real threat of starvation, Venezuelans also have to contend with one of the highest murder rates in the world. So many people are murdered in Venezuela that motorists have become accustomed to seeing dead bodies dumped along the roadside. And with most of these crimes going unsolved, some are resorting to violent revenge attacks to punish suspected perpetrators.