CARACAS – A member of the Bolivarian National Guard shot on Sunday a pregnant woman to death during the distribution of Christmas hams subsidized by the Venezuelan government in western Caracas, according to a police report to which EFE gained access.
The report said that a group of people were “awaiting social benefits authorized by the government ... (and) things turned violent,” whereupon “a group of People’s Guards showed up at the site intending to ask (the people) to return to their homes.”
At that moment, “one of the military personnel, making unauthorized use of his firearm, fired shots at the crowd, wounding the victim, who was transported to the closest hospital where she was admitted without vital signs,” the police said.
Hundreds of Venezuelans have taken to the streets in recent days to protest the Chavista government’s non-fulfillment of its promise to deliver traditional Christmas foodstuffs at subsidized prices to more than six million families.
The incident – which occurred in the municipality of Libertador – was also confirmed by Libertador city counselor Jesus Armas.
“There was an operation to sell hams there, but there were not enough, and so the people started to protest and the National Guardsman got very nervous ... and opened fire. He shot this young 18-year-old pregnant woman in the head and shot a 20-year-old young man in the buttock,” Armas said.
The counselor gathered information from residents who witnessed the incident.
The woman who died was identified as Alexandra Colopoyn, who was said to be 25 weeks pregnant.
The government has involved the armed forces – which includes the National Guard – in distributing subsidized food, whereby President Nicolas Maduro is trying to battle the country’s rampant inflation.
Millions of Venezuelans depend on food provided by the state at reduced prices, given the skyrocketing cost of living.