- Title: Venezuela looks to pacify restive Tachira
- Date: 17th May 2017
- Summary: TACHIRA, VENEZUELA (MAY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) INSIDE OF A LOOTED SUPERMARKET WITH SHELVES CLEARED RUBBISH ON THE FLOOR OF THE LOOTED SUPERMARKET SUPERMARKET AISLE CLEARED OF PRODUCTS, FILTH ON THE FLOOR BEVERAGE REFRIGERATOR EMPTY, ON ITS SIDE AND DESTROYED BROKEN BOTTLES ON THE GROUND DESTROYED CHECK OUT LANES DAMAGED ELECTRICAL CORDS COLLECTED DAMAGED DISPLAY CASE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MANAGER OF THE DESTROYED SUPERMARKET, JORGE BECERRA, SAYING: "They used the supermarket's carts to take stuff. And they took big things; our saws, slicers and they hauled it away. That's what people who saw it happen have said." A BURNED OUT TRUCK ON THE SIDE OF A HIGHWAY MORE OF BURNED OUT TRUCK DAMAGE TO EXTERIOR OF A LOOTED STORE VARIOUS OF DAMAGE INSIDE LOOTED STORE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEMBER OF THE FAMILY THAT OWNS THE LOOTED STORE, PRESDORY GANDICA, SAYING: "Last night, around 9 p.m., we were called and told an armed group on motorcycles was trying to get in. There were about 300 people who came over the barriers, there might have been buses (that they came in). They broke into the shop. They took everything. They took slicers, cash registers, refrigerators." BURNED OUT BUS DEPOT VARIOUS OF BURNED OUT BUSES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OWNER OF BURNED OUT TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, FREDDY DIAZ, SAYING: "Yesterday, people from the neighbourhood here broke in and they burned buses. They weren't the government's (buses) or anyone's, they were mine and my family's, my dad's. They've left the buses useless. This was what we had of worth. Just imagine how we are now." VARIOUS OF BURNED OUT BUSES
- Embargoed: 31st May 2017 20:31
- Keywords: Caracas looting Maduro Vladimir Padrino Tachira
- Location: TACHIRA + CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: TACHIRA + CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016H8AEKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The embattled Venezuelan government announced on Wednesday (May 17) more than 2,000 military officials and a further 600 special operative troops would be sent to the state of Tachira bordering Colombia, where anti-government protests have led to unrest in the last six days, according to the Defence Minister.
Following six weeks of anti-government street protests in which at least 42 people have died, the powerful head of the Armed Forces, Vladimir Padrino, said opposition forces were seeking a coup against leftist President Nicolas Maduro, and said on state television that the "uniformed men" - the police and military - would not permit it.
The announcement was made as looting intensified in Tachira amid widespread shortages of basic goods and a deepening economic crisis. Shop-owners said armed groups of up to 300 people broke into shops and stole goods and facilities on Tuesday (May 16) night.
A bus operator said buses belonging to his family-owned business were also burnt out after vandals broke into their bus depot.
Family members said a young man was shot during lootings on Tuesday night in the town of San Cristobal. The Public Ministry said the case would be investigated.
A policeman was also arrested for his alleged role in the killing of a 33-year-old taxi driver, shot in the thorax, in Tachira.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks, demanding elections, freedom for jailed activists, foreign aid to offset an economic crisis, and autonomy for the opposition-controlled legislature.
President Nicolas Maduro blames the opposition for the country's crisis and the deaths, which have occurred on all sides. He accuses his opponents of trying to oust him in a coup he says is backed by Washington.
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