Currency shortage in Venezuela causes protests, looting and violence

Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets on 16 December 2016 to protest cash shortages after the government announced the 100-bolívar bill would no longer serve as legal tender. Although President Nicolás Maduro on 17 December postponed the date by which the 100-bolívar note would be valid until 2 January 2017, citizens have already deposited or exchanged the notes and a new set higher-denomination bills had not yet arrived in Venezuela. Maduro stated on 18 December that his government had arrested over 300 people for causing violence in recent days (Panorama). The southern state of Bolívar experienced a high level of violent incidents, and the city of El Callao Mayor Coromoto Lugo reported 40 injuries and one firearm-related death (La Patilla). In Ciudad Bolívar, approximately 600 businesses were looted, 90 percent of food purveyors were robbed or destroyed, and over 3,000 state security officials were deployed (Efecto Cocuyo).