Dramatic Images: Hunger Grips Venezuela

Amidst political and economic crisis, food shortages and long lines are a part of daily life in Venezuela. According to a study by Simon Bolivar University, nine out of 10 people say they can't buy enough to eat. Desperation has fueled violence, and more than two dozen have been killed while waiting in line to buy goods in the past 12 months.

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Ariana Cubillos/AP
Madeley Vasquez, 16, breast feeds her one-year-old son Joangel as she waits in line outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas, Venezuela. Vasquez once ran down the block to avoid getting caught up in a knife fight that broke out when a woman was accused of cutting the line.
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AP
An abandoned dog pokes his head out from under a door at the private shelter Funasissi, in the working-class Caracas neighborhood of El Junquito, Venezuela. As the country's economic crisis deepens, food shortages and rising poverty are forcing once-middle-class Venezuelans to do the unthinkable and let their pets starve, or abandon them in the streets.
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AP
An abandoned dog so skinny his ribcage is visible waits to be fed at the private shelter Funasissi, in the working-class Caracas neighborhood of El Junquito, Venezuela. Forced to choose between feeding themselves or their beloved cats and dogs, middle class Venezuelans are abandoning their pets in the streets in never-seen-before numbers.
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
A woman holds her head as she waits in line outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas, Venezuela. Nine out of 10 people here say they can't buy enough to eat, according to a study by Simon Bolivar University.
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AP
Katty Quintas, part owner of the Funasissi animal shelter, comes across an abandoned dog rummaging in the trash in the working-class Caracas neighborhood of El Junquito, Venezuela. In Caracas it has become common to see purebred dogs rummaging in the trash or lying outdoors, filthy and gaunt.
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
A woman kicks the shield of a National Guard soldier as other demonstrators push during a food protest a few blocks from Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. Clashes broke out after people waiting for hours at a nearby grocery store learned a food supply truck was turned away. The shoppers got as close to the presidential palace as they could, and were joined by other demonstrators.
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
A man rests in his car while in line outside the Duncan car battery store in Caracas, Venezuela. The number of batteries for sale is limited and changes daily while customers, some who are turned away, must bring their cars with them.
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
Venezuelans wait in line outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas. The country's vast oil wealth once fueled a bustling economy, but years of government mismanagement ground much of the nation's production to a halt, and the country grew dependent on imports.
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Fernando Llano/AP
A man waiting in line at a grocery store argues with a Bolivarian National Police officer as he and others wait for food to arrive to the store in Caracas, Venezuela. "As the economy breaks down, life is telescoping to be just lines," said Datanalisis president Luis Vicente Leon. "You have masses of people in the streets competing for scarce goods. You're inevitably going to get conflict, fights, tricks, you name it."
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
Irama Carrero is aided by fellow shoppers after fainting in a food line outside a grocery store, in the afternoon in Caracas, Venezuela. Carrero, who said she hadn't eaten that day, had spent hours staring blankly ahead in the line for the elderly when her gaze suddenly became more fixed. She tilted backward and no one broke her fall. Her head smacked the concrete and when she came to she started vomiting.
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Fernando Llano/AP
A woman holding a baby looks at police in riot gear standing guard as she and others wait outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas, Venezuela.
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
Eder Noriega, 25, teaches numbers to his 3-year-old son Santiago as they wait in line to buy food outside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela. As lines in this South American country grow longer they have become a stage for everyday life.
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
People show their national ID cards as they wait in line outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas, Venezuela. All Venezuelans, including children, are assigned two shopping days a week based on their state ID number. Some use fake IDs to score extra shopping days.
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Ariana Cubillos/AP
Adelaida Ospina shades herself with her bag as she waits in line outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas, Venezuela. The average Venezuelan spends 35 hours waiting to buy basic goods each month. Ospina said she arrived at 5:40am.
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