Caracas, Venezuela (PanAm) – The Venezuelan military’s reputation has been considerably worsened after its involvement in criminal acts that have taken place in one rural area this Sunday. On May 1, six army officials were arrested for stealing goats from a nearby farm.
The arrest happened in Lara in the Central region of the country when the police noticed an unmarked van, which they later discovered was transporting dead animals.
According to local media reporting, the military officials were interrogated and not only admitted to the crime, but argued they had no choice because they were without food at Fort Manaure.
Media outlet El Caroreño, based in Lara, said goat owners claimed this was not the first time their goats have been stolen by military officials.
Jaime de Dios Verde Lameda, the owner of the goats killed this weekend, made a formal statement before Lara Police, as he was the only person who witnessed the event.
“Instead of protecting us, they come to kill our animals,” he said. He statement read as follows:
“At 3:30 in the afternoon, Saturday, I was watering my property. My daughter was at the gate, and I saw a truck coming so she yelled to me that it was five soldiers. They stopped, got out and began to take the animals. They took the goats as if they were wild animals. This was in the alleyway that divides my farm from the bottom of my neighbor’s. I was surprised because they were military. I began to yell, “What’s going on? And they said nothing.”
The farmer went on to say he didn’t want to risk approaching them because they were military, armed and would probably shoot.
Many have said this is emblematic of the crisis occurring in Venezuela everyday in every sector of the country. Last weekend various parts of the country saw mass looting of pharmacies, shopping malls, supermarkets and food trucks in response to increasing food shortages.
Venezuela’s Chamber of Commerce (Cavidea) said most businesses only have 15 days worth of inventory. Production will be effected because raw materials as well as national and international supplies are exhausted.
This report prepared by Sabrina Martín for PanAm Post.