Looting leaves stores in ruins in Venezuela's Ciudad Bolivar

AP News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2016 2:19 PM
Looting leaves stores in ruins in Venezuela's Ciudad Bolivar

CIUDAD BOLIVAR, Venezuela (AP) — Hundreds of people in Venezuela's Ciudad Bolivar are massing outside the few supermarkets that survived massive looting over the weekend, waiting for them to open.

Dozens of businesses were destroyed or ransacked. Streets are full of trash, rubble and burned motorcycles from the protests and looting that wracked the riverside city in Venezuela's interior.

Austerio Gonzalez is president of the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He estimates that about 80 percent of stores that sell food in the city were ransacked.

Riots and protests broke out in Ciudad Bolivar and elsewhere over President Nicolas Maduro's sudden decision to scrap the country's most widely used currency note.

Hundreds of police and soldiers have been deployed to the city's streets. But many stores remained closed Monday for fears of more looting.