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article imageBikers gunned down in Venezuela for spare bike parts

By Karen Graham     May 8, 2015 in Crime
Caracas - Venezuela has been hit hard by a severe recession. The socialist-led country is now running low on motorcycle parts, and the best way to get replacements is to stop a biker and just steal his bike. Refusal to hand the bike over means death.
Venezuela is suffering through shortages of food, medicines and the very staples of life these days, due in part to currency control that has put a big crimp on imports.
The violence-prone country is already reeling from an increase in the number of police officers killed for their guns, trucks stopped and robbed of merchandise and people killed for their cell phones. Added to all this violence is a new problem, the shortage of motorcycle parts.
If someone needs a part that is unavailable, they just take it from a biker, killing the rider and making off with the bike. "They're killing those of us in the street to steal our bike because there are no bikes or spare parts," Jorge Montaño, a leader of Venezuela's National Socialist Federation of Motor-bikers, said on Thursday.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution. In a country beset by acute food shortages, runaway inflation and increasing violence, it may be too little, too late. It has been estimated the government already controls over half the country's food distribution, and this has done little to put a halt to the shortages.
Montaño claims bikers are prime targets because they can zip around the choked highways every day. He claims the federation has millions of members. " Sometimes our companions don't want to hand over the motorcycle and they shoot them in the legs or they kill them."
Montaño is planning on asking President Nicolas Maduro to put the federation in charge of importing spare parts from China in an effort to stop the escalation of violence and put a halt to the problem of spare parts. But it is doubtful this will happen. With tumbling oil prices, the OPEC-member country has made food imports and debt servicing its main priority, leaving everyone with little or no hard cash.
More about motorcycle parts, Recession, Venezuela, shortages of food, opec member
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