Venezuelan food supplier reports looting during blackouts

Venezuelan food supplier reports looting during blackouts
People cross the Tachira River into Colombia near the Simon Bolivar International bridge, which Venezuelan authorities only open to students and the sick, in Cucuta, Colombia, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, on the border with Venezuela. People crossing the river are using makeshift bridges as the water level grows with the approaching rainy season. (AP Photo/Schneyder Mendoza)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s largest private food supplier says massive looting and vandalism occurred at four facilities in the city of Maracaibo during nationwide power outages, complicating efforts to distribute food and drinks to people in the area.

Empresas Polar said Tuesday that distribution center and a production plant for Pepsi-Cola Venezuela were hit during unrest after blackouts started a week ago. So were a pasta plant and a beer distributor. It reported the loss of large quantities of food, water and other drinks, vehicles, computers, office furniture and other items.

There were no reports of looting in Maracaibo on Wednesday as people formed long lines outside shops that hadn’t been damaged and were selling food.

Venezuelan authorities say they’ve made significant process in restoring electricity, though some areas remain without power.