People gather to try to buy pasta while riot police try to control the crowd outside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela
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Looting and riots rock Venezuela dailyA young woman faints in the heat as hundreds fight for pasta, screaming they are hungry. Slum dwellers and armed gangs wait for nightfall to hijack food trucks or ransack stores. A mother is shot dead fleeing police after hundreds storm warehouses.Food riots and violent looting have become a daily occurrence across scarcity-struck Venezuela and a major problem for the struggling leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro.A few at the front were allowed in for two bags of pasta each.More than a quarter of the 641 protests last month were for food, according to a tally by the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict, a figure that has risen every month this year.One recent food protest came within blocks of the Miraflores presidential palace.In recent weeks, there has been an increase in frustrated shoppers storming supermarkets after food runs out as well as cases of communities or armed gangs organizing lootings, sometimes reportedly to resell the goods.Much of Caracas' Petare slum, one of Latin America's largest, was a ghost town one recent morning after a night of lootings and food protests that spooked shop owners from opening.
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