FACT CHECK: Viral Video Claims To Show Looting In Mexico During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a store being looted in Veracruz, Mexico, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Verdict: False

The video was filmed in 2017 and has nothing to do with the current coronavirus pandemic.

Fact Check:

The video shows dozens of people running through a shattered storefront to grab armfuls of merchandise before fleeing the same way they entered. A group of armed soldiers can be seen navigating the store amid the chaos but noticeably don’t attempt to prevent any of the looting.

Ninja Cools TV, the Facebook page that posted the video, falsely alleges in a post that it shows “looting because of the “Covid-Virus (sic)” in the port city of Veracruz, despite the video being years old and unrelated to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (RELATED: Viral Post Claims Mexico Doesn’t Have Any Coronavirus Cases)

The exact same footage appears in a YouTube video posted on Jan. 5, 2017, nearly three years before the COVID-19 virus first emerged. “ORIGINAL VIDEO: I didn’t upload it before because of the heavy size of the video,” reads a translation of the YouTube video’s caption. “Looting Chedraui Ponti in Veracruz, Ver. Yesterday, January 4, 2017; this was around 6:30 p.m.”

Numerous media outlets, including CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg, reported how during that week Mexicans mounted protests and looted over a 20 percent hike in gas prices. Authorities arrested more than 250 people for robbery and vandalism across the country that week, according to CNN.

This isn’t the first Facebook page to erroneously link the video to COVID-19 pandemic. AFP Fact Check debunked a similar viral post claiming the looting was in response to panic over the new coronavirus.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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