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A young man shot to death and a policeman wounded in food riots

Reports had a food protest becoming a food riot in Los Silos of Cariaco in Sucre state when demonstrators allegedly began throwing rocks at trucks transporting food to despoil them.

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By Yesenia Garcia.
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.

September ended with food riots reported in Cariaco, state of Sucre, which left a 20-years-old man dead and a 24-years-old police officer wounded. The events occurred when, allegedly, a group of inhabitants of the Los Silos sector in the Porvenir area, Trunk Ten, concentrated waiting for a food transport caravan with the alleged intention of taking them away.

Protests are taking place all over Venezuela, with 61 demonstrators arrested so far and dozens injured. The incident occurred when Sucre State Police officers who had been guarding food-laden trucks got confronted by inhabitants of Cariaco, El Porvenir, and Terranova, who had blocked the road. The police version says that demonstrators threw stones at the vehicles, and that was when a confrontation began between the inhabitants and the police.

However, in all versions, demonstrators were already in place when the police-guarded trucks drove up. According to the law in Venezuela, police and security officials cannot use deadly force against people in demonstrations.

A police source informed El Pitazo that Victor Rivero (20), a resident of Cariaco, died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Wilfredo Navarro (24), a police officer, was seriously injured. Both got taken to the Santos Anibal Dominicci Hospital in Carupano, where Rivero was called dead.

Some neighbors reported previous, similar confrontations between demonstrators (or looters) and police and the military guarding the food trucks.

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El Pitazo contacted the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the municipality of Ribero, Pascual De Santi, who sorry the situation but made it clear that there were no looted to commercial place or businesses were looted.

“The confrontation was between civilians and police because of the vehicles transporting food. We regret this, and we fear that food transports could at some point refuse to come by this route as happened a few years ago, and we are left without food because we were isolated,” said De Santi.

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