Brazil works around the strike but fuel, food is still scarce

The crippling truckers' strike across the country is on its sixth day, but roadblocks are beginning to diminish after the government deployed [19659002] the armed forces to break hundreds of blockades and a key partnership of drivers asked their members to back off.

Some fuels and food began to be delivered, although it is not yet clear when the operations will return to normal, the Minister of Institutional Security, Sergio Etchegoyen, told reporters in Brasilia, the capital, on Saturday.

to refuel at a gas station in Sao Paulo on May 24.

Photographer: Rodrigo Capote / Bloomberg

Half of the blockades had been eliminated, but drivers who do not block roads are still detained, said Defense Minister Raúl Jungmann Brasil. The governor of Sao Paulo Marcio Franca, who is negotiating with truckers, announced on Saturday an agreement to eliminate blockades in the state until May 29.

Local media reports have shown fuel loads arriving with police escorts at service stations in some municipalities in northeastern Brazil. Fuel and other supplies have also begun to flow towards high priority services, including public transport and hospitals.

The government is still concerned about health services. Inventories of critical medicines have been depleted and chemicals to treat water for human consumption are also scarce, Minister of the Government Secretary Carlos Marun told reporters on Saturday.

"Despite the deaths of chickens, President Temer is more concerned about human lives," Marun said, adding that the government could fine truck drivers who continue to withhold supplies from hospitals.

Read more: Trucker Turmoil Disregards Brazil's distrust in the pro-market agenda

The government is imposing fines on transport companies and drivers that still block roads, and is investigating the participation of companies of freight transport in the strike of autonomous drivers, which is prohibited by Brazilian legislation. [19659009] "The federal police have already requested the arrest of some businessmen," Marun said.

Truck drivers angry about the high price of diesel fuel continue to line the side of the roads, while airlines still cancel flights amid a lack of fuel at some airports, including in Brasilia. The fuel shortage is now declining at the airports in Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, Marun said.

A cyclist navigates around trucks parked during a protest on May 23.

Photographer: Andre Coelho / Bloomberg [19659007] In the state of Mato Grosso, the largest soybean producer in the country the number of blockades remained unchanged since the last few days, with roads clogged around 30 points. Exporters have begun to declare force majeure on shipments of soybeans.

The blockades continue even after Abcam, the main badociation of truck drivers in Brazil, recommended its members to free the roads and instead continue the peaceful protests for fear that the armed forces would damage the drivers . [19659000] ( Updates with government comments in the second and third paragraphs. )


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