A Hunger Riot in La Vega

A truck transporting chicken was looted, the driver was attacked, two police officers were injured, the police took away several wounded and neighbors lived a frightening afternoon. All shops and stores closed during the fighting.

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Read the original at Cronica.Uno.

Translated by Javier Liendo.

A truck loaded with chicken arrived at La Vega’s casco colonial at around 9:00 a.m. on Friday. People were already in line to buy scarce, price controlled food items. The rumor that the merchandise was going to be rerouted to the CLAPs spread through the queue and the crowd grew angry. A skirmish ensued and someone started yelling “saqueo” – looting. A mob intercepted the truck, looted the products and attacked the driver.

Violence also erupted at a bakery called Ferman Pan, in San Miguel, and in a butcher shop along the boulevard. According to neighbours, two trucks loaded with food products arrived at the area and were unloaded in the bakery.

The delivery was only enough for a few of the people in line; the rest angrily attempted to break into the shop, which had already closed its doors. They complained that the owners had kept the rest of the merchandise to resell somewhere else.

According to witness accounts, the police arrived and used tear gas to disperse the mob that kept trying to break into the shop.

“It was horrible, we heard explosions, people went crazy, they screamed and fought because they wanted to get into the bakery. The owner got away only because he’d already closed and then the police arrived,” a neighbor said

“We’re hungry,” the women in line yelled, in the hope that the bakery would re-open for them to buy food.

And although several police officers stood between them and the bakery, they weren’t afraid to keep pushing.

 
Then, confusion spread over La Vega’s casco central. After the chicken truck had been looted and there had been attempts at looting nearby shops, every single shop along the main avenue beside the boulevard shut down.

Violent police repression followed. The police didn’t want anyone recording or taking pictures. Even Crónica.Uno journalists were warned that they would lose their cellphones if they didn’t put them away. “Don’t let them see your phone, they’re going to take it from you, policemen don’t care,” neighbors told the journalists.

Then, confusion spread over La Vega’s casco central. After the chicken truck had been looted and there had been attempts at looting nearby shops, every single shop along the main avenue beside the boulevard shut down.

Soon traffic was chaos. Bus routes stopped their service and the rotonda of La India collapsed due to the blocked streets. People only had access through the higher roads of La Vega, from the Panamerican Highway.

Riots spread from San Miguel to Vista Hermosa and residence buildings (bloques) 1 and 2 of El Carmen. The atmosphere was still tense by noon. There were groups of people in every corner. People screamed and threw objects at the street from the buildings.

 
There were no trucks with food and shops were closed. Armed groups and policemen fought on the streets. We heard shots. We don’t know if they were pellet guns or firearms. There was confusion everywhere.

The National Guard and the National Police brought the Ballena and their armored vehicles and went up to the slums. Motorizados dressed as civilians started to circle the area in caravans and fear took over the place. People weren’t protesting for food anymore.

“There were no trucks with food and shops were closed. Armed groups and policemen fought on the streets. We heard shots. We don’t know if they were pellet guns or firearms. There was confusion everywhere. The Ballena used its water cannon on protesters while the police made their way to Bloque 1,” said one of the neighbors who asked us not to disclose his name.

That’s where a National Police officer was wounded in the neck and was taken away by other policemen. In the afternoon he was reported to be out of danger.

Neighbors reported forceful entries into homes in the area. They also reported that several people were arrested. Tensions remained past 4:00 pm this Friday. Police officers made rounds in their motorcycles, and a police helicopter flew over the area. Residents were in fear the whole day.

Public transport started to normalize somewhat in the evening, with limitations, since drivers were afraid that fighting could restart. A National Guard officer was also wounded in a leg, according to reports on social networks.

Riot-packed week

In the last few days there were protests for food in several areas of the capital. There was looting in La Urbina, Petare and El Llanito and a looting attempt in Coche; meanwhile, roads were blocked in La California and El Valle (Thursday and Friday). The people protested because price controlled products didn’t arrive to their area, and against the Local Committees of Supply and Distribution (CLAPs).

In collaboration with

Crónica_1_-Pos_lema

22 COMMENTS

  1. Maduro sends the message via CLAP that if you don’t support our beautiful revolution, I will starve you to death. The hungry people send a message back. Good for them. Hungry people are dangerous.

    • The people will send the message to Maduro: “If you try to starve us, the first thing we’ll loot will be your precious CLAPs, and any milico, colectivo or choro you send our way will end hanged up in a lamp post”

  2. I am still trying to understand why the country or rather the government cant at least arrange to feed the needy which is not to underestimate the requirment. At least one meal a day and water. People are slowly dying now. Its a failed state already and it doesnt matter who or what caused this as its a complete mess, Feeding the poor and helping the people must be the sole action of all people in government miltary any place. Work out who what and why later. Bang some collective heads together form a government of national unity to over come this emergency and then work out a policy course for the country but dont kill your own people with this War on the People.

    • Because acknowledging the disaster would damage the image of sanctity and total lack of responsibility of chavismo.

      That’s the only thing that’s allowed them to survive for so long, shaking all the fault and responsibility: “It’s always someone else’s fault, we are perfect, infallible and never make any mistakes”

  3. And although several police officers stood between them and the bakery, they weren’t afraid to keep pushing.

    Violent police repression followed. The police didn’t want anyone recording or taking pictures. Even Crónica.Uno journalists were warned that they would lose their cellphones if they didn’t put them away. “Don’t let them see your phone, they’re going to take it from you, policemen don’t care,” neighbors told the journalists.
    ———-

    Looks like the end game is starting to shape up: Hunger and frustration has reached the point to where even direct threats cannot stop the people from “pushing.” And the order to police is to keep this all a secret (no transparency). Bury the truth.

    Neither is sustainable. We all knew this was going to get ugly, and the telling point is that the very people Maduro is claiming to defend are those (the poor) who are now being ringed by both authorities and the collectivos. The very forces (and gente) who brought Chavez into power might prove the undoing of his revolution, while the others sit talking about it. One or the other – dialogue or revolt – will force chance sooner than later, at least by the looks of it.

  4. Violent pólice repression? Watching the video the pólice were hunched down as someone was usi9ng firearms. result one pólice and one GNB wounded. The pólice and GNB were undr attack.

    What end game are you talking about? Luis Vicente león stated the other day that it is a “barbaridad” that the media talk about famine in Venezulea.

    With the CLAPs starting tp opeate the protesters will be the opposition run bachaqueros who use violence to intimidate and control the lines.

    Of course there has been looting in various parts of the country – in warehouses full of harina pan not being sold to the public, fpor example. In panadrias where bread is not being baked but expensive cakes and cookies can be found.

    IIn the video the people confronting the pólice, with the upside down flag, were not public rioting but potential guarimberos.

    Pólice and GNB will continue to control riots but not violent repression as this poster says. That was back in 1989 when the popualtion was killed wholesale under orders from the politicians that almost all the management and posters of CC still support. It will not happen in 2016 no matter how much lies you spin.

    Congratulations and a skilfully written piece of fiction which is not borne out by the video it purports to represent-

    Finally – there will be no Recall this year but next. The best you can hope for then is a continuation of President maduro or the worst will be President Cabello Rondón!

  5. The end game, Arturo, is anarchy. You are still trying to favor a “side,” in this case the police, which you posit as victims of a right wing plot, or something equally sophmoric. When people are starving, there are no sides, only fear and anger that eventually, no security force can contain. The idea that all those who are starving are right wing or opposition stooges is the kind of hogwash we expect from Delma or one of the other dip shits. And “bararidad, in it’s normal usage (¡qué barbaridad!), essentially means, “that’s outrageous!” To say otherwise is to basically say the moon is square.

    One wonders what the Arturos are actually rooting for, what about the present situation is he and others on fighting to defend? And where the hell is that warehouse “full of Harina Pan” he keeps talking about.

    As mentioned, this is part of the so-called alcoholic model of reasoning, that any problem is never owing to those in charge, but someone else.

    It is the Arturos of the world I’d like to drag into hospital where my daughter works and see kids dropping like flies. And, no, there is no secret warehouse full of medications some right wingers is hording in order to turn a few bolos. But these are the lies we hear – and Jesus wept.

    • The idea that all those who are starving are right wing or opposition stooges is the kind of hogwash we expect from Delma or one of the other dip shits.

      Isn’t that the aim of CLAP [what an acronym!]- to have the government control all food distribution so that only government supporters get food?

  6. Jesu Christo, those vids are like snuff films, and if that is El Tigre, and I think it is, you’d have to look pretty hard to find many right wingers. It looks like those security forces are gunning down former Chavistas in cold blood. I’m with James Hunt on this one – degenerates. Very sad.

    • The most likely thing is, that those “security forces” gunning down people are actually malandros (criminals) in disguise, which wouldn’t be a new thing in chavismo, using the regular murderers as shock troops against the population.

  7. Oh, look, the poli-nazi and the nazi-guards are finally getting hurt? It was about damn time, it was getting really boring that the only ones getting their asses handed were the people by the goddamn armed-to-the-teeth minions.

    Now we need some beaten bikers and burnt bikes to send the whole message to the chavista nomenklature: “Stop trying to repress the people, it’s useless, accept your chasm”

  8. Ahhh, Arturito appears! Some of us old timers were wondering where you were!

    Pay no mind to Arturo, folks. The guy refuses to take of the rose colored lenses.

  9. “Motorizados dressed as civilians started to circle the area in caravans and fear took over the place. People weren’t protesting for food anymore.”

    The ultimate purpose of colectivos: population control without the human rights punishment.

    One of the main reason Plan Avila did not go through on 4/11 was the FAN been afraid of HR punishment if they shoot people, now they created untraceable paramilitary forces and no one gets to be blamed after they kill 1000 people

    • That’s the usual MO of leftist dictatorships.

      In the case of chavismo, ALL the criminals in the country are part of the informal paramilitary forces, the first line of defense against the people, the disposable enforcers.

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