Brazil truckers strike enters sixth day

The strike over a hike in diesel prices has caused widespread fuel shortages that have shut down urban transportation systems, crippled industries and sent prices of food and fuel soaring.

Brazil truckers strike enters sixth day

World Bulletin / News Desk

A truckers strike that has paralyzed Brazil entered its sixth day Saturday as government troops slowly cleared roads of barricades in a bid to break the impasse.

"We are moving toward getting back to normal but it is not a rapid thing," said Sergio Etchegoyen, the minister for institutional security.

In a televised address Friday, President Michel Temer declared he had "mobilized the security forces" to clear the roads.

"We are not going to permit that the population does not have access to essential goods... that hospitals do not have necessary medicines to save lives," he said.

Cabinet Secretary Carlos Marun, speaking after a cabinet meeting Saturday, said authorities were seeking arrest warrants for trucking companies that "lock out" employees.

By Saturday, government troops had begun escorting fuel trucks to open access to refineries, principally in Duque de Caxias, near Rio de Janeiro.

The Defense Ministry said 132 of 519 barricades had been cleared on roads around the vast South American country.

But gas stations have run dry and supplies of perishable produce were increasingly scarce in stores.

The Sao Paulo union of fuel distributors said 99 percent of the gas stations in Brazil's industrial capital were out of fuel and it would take up to a week to return to normal once the strike is ended.

Sao Paulo mayor Bruno Covas, who declared a state of emergency on Friday, said the situation in his city was "serious, but under control."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Mayıs 2018, 12:51