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Eight electrocuted in Caracas looting amid Venezuela protests - firefighter


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Eight electrocuted in Caracas looting amid Venezuela protests - firefighter

By Eyanir Chinea and Efrain Otero


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A woman stand next to broken refrigerators, after a butcher's stall was looted in Caracas, Venezuela April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins


CARACAS (Reuters) - Eight people were electrocuted to death during a looting incident in Caracas, a firefighter said on Friday, amid violent protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by opponents accusing him of seeking to create a dictatorship.


The accident occurred when a group of looters broke into a bakery in the working class neighborhood of El Valle, according the firefighter, who asked not be identified. It was not immediately possible to confirm details of the incident with hospital or other officials.


The public prosecutor's office said later on Friday it was investigating 11 deaths in El Valle, adding that "some" victims had died from being electrocuted.


Nine other people have been killed in violence associated with a wave of anti-government demonstrations in the past three weeks in which protesters have clashed with security forces in melees lasting well into the night.


"Yesterday around 9 or 10 (p.m.)things got pretty scary, a group of people carrying weapons came down ... and started looting," said Hane Mustafa, owner of a small supermarket in El Valle, where broken bottles of soy sauce and ketchup littered the floor between bare shelves.


"The security situation is not in the hands of the government. We lost everything here," said Mustafa, who said he could hear the looting from his home, which is adjacent to the store.


Dozens of businesses in the area showed signs of looting, ranging from empty shelves to broken windows and twisted metal entrance gates.

The Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for details.


Security forces patrolled much of Caracas on Friday, including El Valle.


Maduro's government is so far resisting the pressure of the most serious protests in three years as opposition leaders push a series of political demands, drawing support from a public angered by the country's collapsing economy.


Ruling Socialist Party leaders describe the protesters as hoodlums who are damaging public property and disrupting public order to overthrow the government with the support of ideological adversaries in Washington.


"This wounded and failed opposition is trying to generate chaos in key areas of the city and convince the world that we're in some sort of civil war, the same playbook used for Syria, for Libya and for Iraq," said Socialist Party official Freddy Bernal in an internet broadcast at 1:00 a.m.




Opposition leaders have promised to keep up their protests, demanding that Maduro's government call general elections, free almost 100 jailed opposition activists and respect the autonomy of the opposition-led Congress.


They are calling for community-level protests across the country on Friday, a white-clad "silent" march in Caracas on Saturday to commemorate those killed in the unrest, and a nationwide "sit-in" blocking Venezuela's main roads on Monday.


Daniela Alvarado, 25, who sells vegetables in the El Valle area, said the looting on Thursday night began after police officers fired tear gas and buckshot at demonstrators blocking a street with burning tires.


"People starting looting the businesses and yelling that they were hungry and that they want the government out," said Alvarado. "We're afraid (the stores) are going to run out of everything, that tomorrow there won't be any food."


Separately, a man was killed by a gunshot in the Caracas slum of Petare on Thursday night, municipal mayor Carlos Ocariz said on Friday.


The OPEC nation's economy has been in free-fall since the collapse of oil prices in 2014. The generous oil-financed welfare state created by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, Maduro's predecessor, has given way to a Soviet-style economy marked by consumer shortages, triple-digit inflation and snaking supermarket lines.


Many Venezuelans say they have to skip meals in order to feed their children.


Public anger at the situation spilled over last month when the Supreme Court, which is seen as close to the government, briefly assumed the powers of the Congress. The protests were further fueled when the government barred the opposition's best-known leader, two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, from holding public office.


-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-04-22


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          I suspect the owner/manager of the bakery had set up live ac wires to guard against thieves.  He/she probably didn't want to kill people with the trap, but.... things don't always go as planned.


            I've set up live ac wire traps in northern Thailand.  I went through a prolonged period of having things stolen.  It may seem extreme, and I knew there was a chance someone may get killed, but I was at the end of my tether at the time.  Thankfully, things have been a lot better in that regard, for me, in recent years.


A NYC store owner set up live ac wires, and it caused the death of an intruder.  Not sure whether she was sued for 'wrongful death' but she probably was.   She set up the wires in such a way, that an intruder had to climb over a wall - the parrallel wires were just the other side.  pzzzzs - ssszzzztt.

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1 hour ago, boomerangutang said:

I've set up live ac wire traps in northern Thailand.


Someone in Thailand went to jail for a long time for doing that. An intruder was fried and the woman who set up the trap was jailed. Get your Thai partner to get licenced for a personal weapon. Easier and legal as you are permitted to use whatever is in the house to protect yourself and your family. If that happens to be your wife's 9mm in your bedside drawer then thats pretty lucky.

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