Going "bachaquero" for groceries

Only two units per customer? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Grocery shopping is becoming more and more of an ordeal for ordinary Venezuelans.

But in Maracaibo, where getting sugar and corn flour means waiting hours under the sun, there’s a new problem: organized groups of people who crash the city’s supermarkets and buy everything they can, a kind of Wayuú flashmob that leaves almost nothing for other buyers.

The chief of Zulia State Police said those groups are related to smugglers and illegal vendors who sell products on the streets. He called it “bachaqueo”, a word used for local gas smugglers.

He didn’t explain whether the same “bachaqueros” are actually involved in these activities, but he has promised swift actions against them.

The food shortages has indirectly produced an increase of criminal activities involving grocery supplies. As the lack of alternatives to satisfy the currency market makes things worse, the Chavernment still prefers to put most of the blame on consumers.