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Packs of black-market foot soldiers raid Venezuela markets
Packs of black-market foot soldiers raid Venezuela markets

When a friend texted me that coffee and toilet paper were on the shelves of an eastern Caracas supermarket, I raced to El Patio outlet hoping against hope that the increasingly scarce household items would still be available. No such luck. When I arrived at 9 a.m., the line was the length of a football field and a dozen bachaqueros, dressed in athletic wear and bluejeans, were leaving the store. They lugged nylon bags packed with coffee, milk powder, cooking oil and sugar, all highly coveted items in today's Venezuela. Slinging the precious commodities over their shoulders, they sped away on motorbikes. When armed soldiers finally allowed me inside, all that remained were a few...

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