- Title: Mayhem rages in west Venezuela
- Date: 18th May 2017
- Summary: TACHIRA, VENEZUELA (MAY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) ARMOURED NATIONAL GUARD TRUCKS DRIVING DOWN THE STREET VARIOUS OF NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS AT ATTENTION HOLDING THEIR SHIELDS TO THE GROUND TROOPS STANDING ON DUTY BY ROAD NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS STANDING NEXT TO ARMOURED VEHICLE INTERIOR OF THE BURNT OUT TACHIRA RANCHERS' ASSOCIATION HEADQUARTERS VARIOUS OF CHAIRS AND DESK AT THE TACHIRA RANCHERS' ASSOCIATION BURNT OUT SCORCHED TELEPHONES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT OF THE TACHIRA RANCHERS' ASSOCIATION, LEORNADO FIGUEROA, SAYING: "At 2 a.m. (0600 GMT) a group of armed men came up in two trucks. They broke into our headquarters. They gagged the security guards and committed a heinous act. They burned down our entire institution. The institution is more than 60-years-old and brings together some 2,000 producers from the region." TWO MEN GOING THROUGH WHAT'S LEFT OFF A LOOTED SHOP BOTTLES AND OTHER ITEMS STREWN ON THE FLOOR EMPTIED SHELVES AT A LOOTED SHOP A BROKEN DISPLAY CASE EMPTIED SHELVES AND DAMAGE TO SHOP
- Embargoed: 1st June 2017 22:49
- Keywords: Nicolas Maduro clashes looting military Venezuela
- Location: TACHIRA, VENEZUELA
- City: TACHIRA, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HD9W7B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Mobs looted shops and fought security forces overnight in Venezuela's restive western region of Tachira, where three soldiers were being charged on Thursday (May 18) with the fatal shooting of a man who was buying diapers for his baby, witnesses said.
In western Tachira state, near the border with Colombia, clashes and lootings raged overnight, even though the government has sent 2,000 troops there to try to calm unrest.
Security forces fired teargas at stone-throwing gangs, and crowds smashed their way into shops and offices in San Cristobal, the state capital, and elsewhere.
The president of the Tachira Ranchers' Association said vandals broke into the group's headquarters, bound and gagged security guards and set the place on fire.
Looters sacked local shops, destroying equipment and clearing shelves of product.
Six weeks of anti-government unrest have resulted in at least 44 deaths, as well as hundreds of injuries and arrests in the worst turmoil of President Nicolas Maduro's four-year rule of the South American OPEC-member country.
Protesters are demanding elections to kick out the socialist government that they accuse of wrecking the economy and turning Venezuela into a dictatorship. Maduro, 54, the successor to late leader Hugo Chavez, says his foes are seeking a violent coup.
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