Venezuelan opposition lawmaker Neidy Rosal claimed before the country’s Prosecutors Office that an estimated 160.000 tons of food, in decomposing conditions, were being destroyed by the government’s Food Production and Distribution Office, Pvdal, in the state of Carabobo.
“We presume there could be lots from last year” when a similar case surfaced and ended with the jailing of several members from Pvdal but “we also believe there are lots from this year”, said the lawmaker.
Ms Rosal said the volume includes “109 million kilos of powder milk and 50 million litres of oil”, a case which also involves Food Minister Carlos Osorio.
The lawmaker said that together with her peer Aura Montero they filed a complaint before the Prosecutor’s Office in the state of Carabobo, claim which was received and registered.
She added that the complaint also includes information on a “decomposed food cemetery” in an area under military surveillance where “over two million dollars and Army heavy equipment have been used to dig and remove soil”.
Lawmaker Rosal said that because of heavy rains, the area has become a river of decomposed and stinking food.
In May 2010 a similar scandal was denounced when millions of kilos of decomposed food were found in thousands of containers stacked in Puerto Cabello, the largest port in the state of Carabobo.
At the time President Chavez said the case was “very serious” and called for the courts to severely punish those responsible for corruption and negligence.
Rosal said that both her and Ms Montero have again begun to receive hundreds of complaints from 1.200 families living in a Puerto Cabellos neighbourhood who complain about the smoke, fetid smells, scavenger birds, all kinds of infectious insects and rats at what has been described as the “rotten food cemetery”
According to neighbours there is a daily traffic of trucks identified as belonging to Pvdal in and out from the compound.
“We contacted workers and soldiers in the militarized zone and they told us what was happening and even gave us internal data dating back to November 10, with specific instructions to bury and burn the decomposed food”, said the lawmaker.
Rosal added that all documents, evidence and photos of their complaint were delivered to Deyalitza Aray, president of the Congressional Environment Committee so that the national Assembly begins an official investigation into the facts.