Following oil spill, Venezuelans protest lack of clean water

By the Associated Press

Hundreds of protesters blocked streets and burned tires in eastern Venezuela on Wednesday to demand clean water after a recent oil spill polluted rivers and streams that supply local storage tanks.

“We have not had water for a week,” said Maria Rodriguez, an angry 26-year-old housewife who joined the protest in the city of Maturin. “We don’t have water to cook and bathe, and we don’t have the money needed to buy bottled water everyday.”

Crude oil began spilling from a ruptured pipeline on Feb. 4 near Maturin.

Monagas state Gov. Jose Gregorio Briceno declared a “state of emergency” following the spill, halting water distribution and closing schools in the state’s capital of Maturin, which is located approximately 255 miles (410 kilometers) northeast of Caracas

Representatives of Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., or PDVSA, have not revealed how much oil leaked into the river.

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