General Motors (GM) announced today that it was shuttering operations in Venezuela after authorities seized its only factory, a dramatic escalation of the chaos engulfing the South American nation amid days of deadly protests.
The plant in the central city of Valencia was confiscated on Wednesday as anti-government protesters clashed with pro-government groups in a country battered by economic troubles including food shortages and triple-digit inflation. GM called the move an illegal judicial seizure of its assets.
The Detroit automaker said in a statement today that other assets such as vehicles were taken from the plant, causing irreparable damage to the company. GM has about 2,700 workers in the country, where it has been the market leader for over 35 years.
General Motors’ announcement comes as Venezuela’s opposition looks to keep up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, taking to the streets again today after three people were killed and hundreds arrested in the biggest anti-government demonstrations in years.