Going “bachaquero” for groceries

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Only two units per customer? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Grocery shopping is becoming more and more of an ordeal for ordinary Venezuelans.

But in Maracaibo, where getting sugar and corn flour means waiting hours under the sun, there’s a new problem: organized groups of people who crash the city’s supermarkets and buy everything they can, a kind of Wayuú flashmob that leaves almost nothing for other buyers.

The chief of Zulia State Police has indicated those groups are related to smugglers and illegal vendors who sell products on the streets. He called this “bachaqueo”, a word more usually associated with local gasoline smugglers. He didn’t explain whether the same “bachaqueros” are actually involved in these activities, but he has promised swift actions against them.

The food shortages has indirectly produced an increase of criminal activities involving grocery supplies. As the lack of alternatives to satisfy the currency market makes things worse, the Chavernment still prefers to put most of the blame on consumers.

10 thoughts on “Going “bachaquero” for groceries

  1. The same thing happens in Valencia, and I imagine in every city in Venezuela. We had to leave a supermarket last week when it suddenly flooded with people from outside the area when a lorry load of harina de pan arrived. Checkouts were overwhelmed. Not a pleasant “shopping experience” at all!

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  2. And I wonder: What “crime” these “bachaqueros” are going to be charged for by the chief of Zulia State Police?.

    Because make no mistake: They are (currently) committing no crime. They get into the supermarkets, PAY for what they buy, and get out. And later, they decide to sell what they have lawfully bought. It may be nasty for other consumers, but there is no crime here.

    The only “criminal” behavior here comes from the inept government itself, which set the stage for these lawful behaviors to become a big social problem.

    I guess that in the end the government will do the same as it did for the dollar: Unable to put together a reasonable monetary policy, it went after the common citizens by criminalizing trading dollars (and even speaking about their price!). So in a short time it will be a criminal offense to buy more than a certain amount of products, and/or sell products that rightfully belong to you.

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  3. Welcome to the Great Socialist Institution, the only one that always and truly works, more than repression, a million times swifter than redistribution. The Black Market. Any self-respecting Revolution, a genuinely utopian (or infernal) and idiotic economic setup must have a thriving Black Market.

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    • More power to them! Individual entrepreneurs, or in Chavista speak “speculators” are a wrecking ball to the economic distortions socialists love to set up. These Wayus actions directly demonstrate the corruptibility of Bolivarian socialism. They make visible on a local scale what is the normally secretive process of arbitrage traditionally restricted to Venezuela’s elites. They should be congratulated and encouraged in their efforts.

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      • Hey, I am not making a moral judgement here. The Black Market is a fixture of Wartime and of Idiot-nomics time.

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  4. Have you heard the gov “public service” messages on the radio asking people not to incurr in “compras nerviosas”? Very cynical stuff when you consider that the scarcity index for some products (sugar, for example) are around 70-80%. If that’s true, 3 out of 4 supermarkets do not have sugar.

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  5. They’re doing the same thing as they do with the Gas, but this has become more hardcore in some way because of the lack of these products atm, if not we wouldnt even be talking about this. This is something that’s been happening for so many years, that the only gulty ppl are the government and the GNB which is corrupted enough to turn the blind eye (With bribe) on this and let em do whatever they want in the raya at Zulia frontieer. Most of the ppl doing this are goajiros of la alta goajira Venezolana & Colombiana, and i’ve go to say here in el Zulia most of the citizens are scared to face the goajiros, because of “La ley Goajira” I live here in el Zulia and i know how things are here, Goajiros rule all the city because of the support from the Government laws and the fear that ppl has to then here.

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