Brazil hit by nationwide truck drivers strike
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Brazil hit by nationwide truck drivers strike

A strike by truck drivers has snarled traffic on highways throughout Brazil.

Strikers angry about the recent rise in fuel prices and tax hikes blocked traffic in some 13 states across Brazil on Monday. Drivers were demanding minimum freight prices.

The country is the world’s top exporter of soybeans, coffee, sugar and beef.

Brazil’s animal protein association said that pork and poultry shipments could be disrupted in a crucial month for the sector, as demand from buyers in the Northern Hemisphere increases ahead of their winter. The sector lost some 700 million reais ($184 million) due to the roadblocks in February, Reuters reports.

Two of the main truckers’ unions say they do not support the action. The strikers say they are independent activists, with no ties to the unions.

Some of the strikers have said that they favor ousting Brazil’s beleaguered President Dilma Rousseff, whose second term in office has been rocked by a major corruption scandal and a weakening economy.

Local media report that Communications Minister Edinho Silva says the strike is aimed exclusively at “wearing out the government.”

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