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Ear to the Ground

Six Dead in Mozambique Bread Riots

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Posted on Sep 3, 2010
AP / Nastasya Tay

The blanket-covered corpse of a child lies in a pool of blood in Maputo, Mozambique, after police opened fire on stone-throwing crowds protesting rising prices.

Soaring bread prices have sparked riots around Mozambique’s capital city of Maputo, but worse still is the fact that police killed at least six people and used live ammunition because—wait for it—they “ran out of rubber bullets.”

The riots came after a 30 percent rise in bread prices in one of the world’s poorest countries as the government has seemingly ignored the protesters’ demands and blamed them for destruction of property and civil disarray. —JCL

The Guardian:

Demonstrators [Friday] blocked roads with burning tyres and looted shops in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, as deadly riots sparked by soaring bread prices entered a second day.

[Thursday], police and hospital sources said at least six people were killed, including two children, as police opened fire on protesters in the worst riots to hit the country of 23 million people since 2008. Officially, police said four people were killed, including two children.

The rioting was prompted by a 30 percent rise in bread prices in one of the world’s poorest countries, which has never fully recovered from civil wars.

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By berniem, September 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Rose, my comment was sarcasm, as in.. They used live ammunition because they ran out of rubber bullets- since rubber is a by-product of oil, a shortage of rubber would be due directly to a oil shortage, etc… Please don’t misconstrue my comment to a lack of sensitivity, but with agricultural resources increasingly being diverted to energy production, more and more of these types of tragedies will occur especially, and as usual, in 3rd world nations where its easy to blame the victims or shoo it aside as another example of corrupt governments. Remember, however, who supports these governments and to what ends. Just think of the impending insanity we’ll witness when clean water becomes scarce as it surely will in the not too distant future.

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By espaz, September 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i’m no economist…. i don’t have a master’s degree .....i’m just some lame ass idiot.  but i look at what i read, “bad fire in russia fucks up wheat production, holds back on exports”...or some shit like that….and i read articles about global warming….and i can’t help to think that global warming caused by man is real.  i believe it simply because i believe in the scientific process, and the scientific process tells us that CO2 buildup is a greenhouse gas that traps heat.  it’s not all that complex.  durrrrrr (insert drooling idiot here).  so when i read articles like this one i can’t help to think that all the reprocussions (please help with sp., ty) of global warming are gonna come true.  we should all take a moment to be thankfull for the life time of hot showers and nice food we’ve all had all these years.  they may not have these in the future.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Must be some good bread.

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By Patrick Walker, September 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First thing that should come to anyone who reads this is how Goldman Sachs manipulated world food prices a few years back.

Redux?  All that free cash from the government going to prop up another food bubble?

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By Rose, September 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

berniem: This has nothing to do with oil reliance.

This tragedy in Mozambique has everything to do with a repressive government
that cares only in controlling the population. The government sets the price of
bread and recently raised the price of this modest food staple by 30%. The
citizenry are starving, yet those in control care little for their plight and suffering.
That rioting and protests took place in the capital is only to be expected. That the
government immediately retaliated with violence is also inevitable.  Africa is
plagued by despotic, corrupt governments whose interests lie in keeping the
population subservient and deprived.

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By berniem, September 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Another tragedy related to our addiction to oil!

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