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From murder to scavenging through rubbish for food scraps, this is the reality of life in Venezuela

Welcome to Venezuela – once the poster child for a bold socialist future, but where today children scavenge through rubbish bags for scraps to eat.

Amid this fly-blown tide of rotting rubbish we meet Fran, jobless and desperate, and searching for food for his family.

"It's all about my kids," Fran says.

"I don't have anything better to give them."

  • ITV News Correspondent John Ray explains how for Venezuela’s destitute masses, help is agonisingly close at hand and out of reach

Venezuela is now the land of hunger and of grief – much of it hidden in the quiet alleyways where Marbelli Sanai is among the many who have learnt the high price of opposition.

Marbille's cousin Johnny appeared in a video online which quickly went viral, of him in high spirits on the way to anti-government protests.

Johnny was seen celebrating ahead of anti-government protests. Credit: ITV News

Little more than a day later he was dead.

Marbille told how they "dumped his body like he was an animal".

Johnny's was a targeted killing, he was dragged from a house by paramilitary police.

"My aunt heard the first shot and she heard Johnny screaming for mercy.

"Then there was second shot," Marbille said.

Marbelli Sanai says her cousin's body was 'dumped like an animal'. Credit: ITV News

Johnny leaves behind a girlfriend who is now in hiding and about to give birth to their first child - a daughter.

"We’ve going to tell her that her father died a hero, fighting for the country to be free," Marbille says.

Venezuela’s rulers blame US sanctions for this economic collapse.

Johnny's killing means he never got to meet his daughter. Credit: ITV News

Most of Venezuela’s people just long for something better as they struggle daily to survive.

Inflation is currently running at 1,000,000%, meaning bank notes are not even worth the paper they're printed on.

  • ITV News Anchor Tom Bradby explains just how bad Venezuela's economy is

Easier to understand is the misery of taps that no longer deliver water; and the contents of a fridge so meager that grass is worth keeping.

"We can’t go on much longer like this," says Jaqueline, a Caracas resident.

"Each day is worse than the last."

Endurance is the only commodity Venezuelans possess in abundance, and even that it seems is now in short supply.

Money is now worthless in Venezuela. Credit: ITV News