Amid Chaos in Venezuela, Volunteer Students Are Providing Primary Care

Photographs of the Venezuelan Green Cross medical students.

by Wil Riera
Jun 16 2017, 1:41pm

This story appears in the June issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.

This year, more protesters hit the streets in Venezuela, as a recession in the oil-rich nation keeps getting worse. Essentially continuing Hugo Chávez's economic policy, President Nicolás Maduro has enacted price and currency controls on US dollars, leading to further shortages of food, medicine, and other basic necessities. These demonstrations have been growing increasingly more violent, with dozens killed and more than 700 injured in more than a month of protests, according to Venezuela's state prosecutor's office. But amid the destruction, a group led by young medical students from the Central University of Venezuela, known as "Green Cross" because of the symbol the members wear on their helmets, has been providing primary care. They receive many of their supplies from outside donations, as they can't obtain them in their country. In the field, these men and women, most of them in their 20s, tend to those who have been subjected to tear gas, rubber bullets, and flying stones.