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11 Photos Reveal What Women Are Buying On The Black Market

“It’s wiser to buy them in the US and ship them back,” said photographer Cao Sanchez.

Posted on August 4, 2019, at 9:16 a.m. ET

Cao Sanchez

Daniela, an orthodontist, with goods she recently bought in Houston and that were sent to her via courier.

The ongoing political crisis in Venezuela has resulted in shortages in nearly everything, from medical supplies to food. While millions have fled the country, those who remain — and have the means to do so — often take advantage of the diaspora to import both essentials and luxuries, often using commercial carriers like FedEx and Amazon Prime.

Cao Sanchez, a photographer based in Caracas, Venezuela, examines this process in a new photo series looking at the black-market goods flowing into Venezuela. When searching for subjects through social media and referrals, Sanchez found that it was usually women making the final decision on what to buy and how to get it into the country.

The practice shows no sign of letting up as the crisis continues — the internal production of food and medicines is severely limited and hard cash is in short supply. Inflation hit 1.3 million percent this year, and the economy has essentially become reliant on dollars instead of the local currency, bolivares. The few goods that do infrequently appear in Caracas are now too expensive for most people to purchase, so his subjects find it “wiser to buy them in the USA and ship them to Venezuela in a box,” Sanchez says.

Cao Sanchez

Gabriela, Valeria, and Victoria with products that their family recently bought in the US and had delivered to them in Caracas through a shipping company.

Cao Sanchez

Ruth, a brand owner, with products she bought in the US and had delivered to her by a courier company.

Cao Sanchez

Diana, an educator, with products that she and her family bought while in the US during the past months that were brought to Venezuela via a shipping company.

Cao Sanchez

Lourdes, a lawyer, with the products she bought in the US and had shipped to her home in Caracas.

Cao Sanchez

Christina, a lawyer, with the products she recently bought in the US. All of them were delivered to her in Caracas by a shipping company.

Cao Sanchez

Gleiby, a housemaid, with goods and clothes that came from the US that were given to her by the family in whose house she works.

Cao Sanchez

Maria Victoria, an engineer, with the generator and products she recently bought in the US and had shipped to her house in Caracas by a courier company.

Cao Sanchez

Carina, an economist, with products she recently bought in the US and that she arranged to be delivered to her in Caracas by a shipping company.

Cao Sanchez

Maria, a homemaker, with products she recently bought in the US and arranged to have brought to her home in Caracas by a shipping company.

Cao Sanchez

Maura, a wedding photographer, sits in the plastic bin that contained the products she bought in the US and had sent to her in Caracas by a shipping company.


UPDATE


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