Six members of the Venezuelan Army were arrested for stealing goats this past weekend. The soldiers claim they stole the goats in order to feed themselves because there was no food in their barracks at Fort Manaure. The Venezuelan government has been struggling with a food shortage since the price of its number one export, crude oil, has crashed.
The soldiers were arrested in the central region of Lara when local authorities pulled over an unmarked vehicle full of dead animals. The vehicle was being driven by members of the Venezuelan Army who claimed they were forced to kill, steal and eat the animals to sustain themselves. Local authorities have received several complaints from local farmers claiming their animals have gone missing.
Local farmer Jaime de Dios Verde Lameda told local media that farmers are aware that soldiers are stealing their property but are powerless to stop it. They are afraid to fight back against the soldiers because they fear they will be shot.
“Instead of protecting us, they come to kill our animals. I began to yell, ‘What’s going on?’ And they said nothing.”
Crude oil prices have dropped over 25% in the past 12 months. The Venezuelan economy depends on crude oil as their number one export and its decline has had an effect on all industries. There have been reports of mass lootings at grocery stores, pharmacies and shopping malls as citizens and military personnel become increasingly desperate to provide their families with the necessities needed to survive.