Here is how ‘bachateros’ make a living in Venezuela

Those familiar with the food sector in Venezuela say every major city has a black market and an intricate network of  illegal food merchants known as the “bachaqueros.” 

The deep economic crisis in Venezuela continues to create opportunities for the food vendors who are thriving despite the government’s many efforts to destroy the market.
Amid triple-digit inflation, the government views the “bachaqueros” as the criminals who are to blame for the food shortages.
President Nicolas Maduro’s opposition doesn’t blame them. They hold the socialist government’s inept policies — including currency control and price freezes — responsible for their existence. 
Some of the “bachaqueros” wake up early to line up in front of supermarkets, where they have access to the government’s fixed prices. They resell the items to other “bachaqueros” who deal with greater volumes.
The great majority of shoppers at supermarkets are “bachaqueros,” according to a consumer survey by Dataanalisis.
When the government installed a database to identify shoppers and monitor their purchases, some of the “bachaqueros” changed their strategy. They made deals with employees of warehouses or supermarkets to get to the rice and sugar before it even got on the shelves.  
The “bachaqueros” increasingly rely on informants and corrupt police officers and soldiers. They handle their deals with cash and coordinate the delivery of rice, flour, eggs, oil and other goods through messaging apps like Whatsapp. 

Those familiar with the food sector in Venezuela say every major city has a black market and an intricate network of  illegal food merchants known as the “bachaqueros.” They deal in U.S. dollars, Euros and Colombian pesos.

The deep economic crisis in Venezuela continues to create opportunities for the food vendors who are thriving despite the government’s many efforts to destroy the market.

Amid triple-digit inflation, the government views the “bachaqueros” as the criminals who are to blame for the food shortages.
President Nicolas Maduro’s opposition doesn’t blame them. They hold the socialist government’s inept policies — including currency control and price freezes — responsible for their existence. 
 
Some of the “bachaqueros” wake up early to line up in front of supermarkets, where they have access to the government’s fixed prices. They resell the items to other “bachaqueros” who deal with greater volumes.
The great majority of shoppers at supermarkets are “bachaqueros,” according to a consumer survey by Dataanalisis.
When the government installed a database to identify shoppers and monitor their purchases, some of the “bachaqueros” changed their strategy. They made deals with employees of warehouses or supermarkets to get to the rice and sugar before it even got on the shelves.  
To have breakfast, lunch and dinner, a resident in Caracas said a Venezuelan needs some 630,000 bolivares a month per person. The minimum wage is 200,000 bolivares a month. The black market rate is about 3,480 bolivares to the dollar on Friday. 

 
The “bachaqueros” increasingly rely on informants and corrupt police officers and soldiers. They handle their deals with cash and coordinate the delivery of rice, flour, eggs, oil and other goods through messaging apps like Whatsapp. 
 
 

Follow this story

Surveillance video shows Miami firetruck colliding with vehicle, wall of business

Surveillance video obtained Friday by Local 10 News shows a Miami Fire Rescue truck colliding with a car and crashing into the wall of a business.

The crash was reported shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday in the area of Northwest 12th Avenue and 54th Street.

Authorities said the Miami Fire Rescue truck was responding to an emergency call with its lights and siren on when a gray sedan turned into the path of the truck.

The video shows the firetruck pushing the vehicle across the sidewalk, striking the wall of a linen business.

The owner of Royal Linen Service told Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez that she grabbed her mother and daughter and took them outside before running back in to shut off the power.

“We were so scared because the impact was in the other door, the big door, next to my mom,” Maria Rodriguez said.  

The business’ front metal door and an outside awning were damaged in the crash. 

Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll Jr. said the driver of the car was checked out by paramedics and taken to a hospital.

The extent of the driver’s injuries has not been released.

The crew inside the firetruck was not injured.

The crash remains under investigation.

Follow this story

1 person shot in Oakland Park, found at gas station

One person was injured after being shot in Oakland Park on Friday.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said the victim was found at the Valero location at 2699 West Oakland Park Boulevard, but it is believed he was not shot at the station.

The victim was transported to the hospital with injuries that are not considered to be life-threatening.

BSO officials say the victim is being uncooperative with their investigation.

 

 

Follow this story

JetBlue flight bound for Fort Lauderdale lands in Charleston after reports of smoke in cabin

A JetBlue flight that was bound Friday for Fort Lauderdale landed in Charleston, South Carolina, after reports of smoke in the cabin, JetBlue spokesman Brian Mazur said in an email to Local 10 News.

According to a statement from the airline, Flight 913 from White Plains, New York, diverted to Charleston because of the smoke.

The airline said the flight safely landed at 10:30 a.m.

All 122 passengers and crew members were evacuated from the plane.

Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden spoke to one of the passengers on the phone, who praised the crew for keeping everybody calm and informed.

“About 10 o’clock, the airplane started to get a little stuffy and hot and they said, ‘We have a problem with the air conditioning,'” Frank Migliorelli said. “And then, all of a sudden, you started smelling like an industrial or an electrical kind of burning and they said, you know, there’s obviously a problem.”

Migliorelli said the airline is working to get all passengers rebooked onto other flights to Fort Lauderdale. He said he was pleased with how the crew handled the situation.

“The crew was amazing,” Migliorelli said. “The captain got on and just said, ‘Look, we know this plane, we’re trained on this plane, we know how to handle emergencies, we have this under control.’ And, you know, the crew was up and down the aisles talking to everybody and just saying, ‘Everything’s going to be alright, everything’s good. If you have any questions, whatever.’ Nobody panicked.” 

Airline officials said no one was injured during the incident.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport officials said the passengers are expected to arrive in South Florida later in the day.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. 

Follow this story

Rep. Steve Scalise released from intensive care unit

Republican Rep. Steve Scalise has been released from the intensive care unit after being shot in the hip last week, according to a statement by MedStar Washington Hospital Center Friday.

“Congressman Steve Scalise’s continued good progress allowed him to be transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday (June 22). He remains in fair condition as he continues an extended period of healing and rehabilitation,” the statement said.

Scalise, the Republican House Majority Whip, was critically injured during a shooting by a lone gunman at the GOP baseball team’s practice for a charity game June 14. Previous medical reports indicated that Scalise sustained a single gunshot wound to his left hip and suffered “significant damage” to his internal organs.

Another Alexandria shooting victim, Matt Mika, is also now in “good condition” and out of the intensive care unit, according to a spokesperson for George Washington University Hospital. Mika’s family also said that the Tyson Foods lobbyist is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing multiple surgeries for his injuries.

Republicans and Democrats honored those injured in the Alexandria shooting — including Rep. Roger Williams, congressional aide Zach Barth and Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey — at the Congressional Baseball Game on June 15, raising a record $1.5 million for charity.

Follow this story

Man threatens to blow up mosque after incident at Muslim-owned convenience store

A South Florida man was arrested Thursday after he threatened to blow up a mosque in Pompano Beach, authorities said.

The incident was reported at about 4 p.m. Thursday at the Islamic Center of South Florida at 507 NE Sixth St.

According to an arrest report, Shawkat Mzayek, 38, called the mosque and said, “Your mosque is going to be blown the (expletive) up tonight. We are going to kill all of you and ISIS in America.”

Deputies said Mzayek hung up the phone and the person who received the call at the mosque called 911 and evacuated the building.

The director of the mosque, Mihad Sakallah, told Local 10 News that the mosque was preparing to have people come to break their fast for the holy month of Ramadan when the threat was made. 

He said there were 10 to 20 people inside the building when the call was made.

Deputies said caller ID linked the phone number to Mzayek’s wife, but said Mzayek confirmed that he is the sole user of that phone number.

Detectives said Mzayek told them that he used to be Muslim, but converted to Judaism and believes the Muslim community considers him a “dead man” now.

He said he made the call to the mosque and to a Muslim-owned convenience store in Plantation after he got into an altercation with employees at the store, the report said.

Detectives said Mzayek said that he threatened to burn down the mosque and the store.

He was arrested on a charge of falsely reporting a bomb threat.

Court records show that Mzayek was on probation at the time of the incident for pointing a gun at another driver in a road rage case. 

Follow this story