Pro-Bolsonaro Truckers Block Brazil Roads

Truck drivers in Brazil blocked major highways in 15 of Brazil’s 27 states in support of President Jair Bolsonaro despite his call for them to stop.

“Speaking to the truckers out there, who are our allies, these blockades hurt our economy. They cause supply shortages, inflation and hurt everyone, especially the poorest,” Bolsonaro said in an audio message sent to the truckers’ messaging group. 

On Thursday, Bolsonaro said allied truckers protesting on highways across the country had agreed to stand down on Sunday. 

Infrastructure minister Tarcisio Gomes de Freitas said the blockades were 10% fewer, but it was unclear if the truckers would heed Bolsonaro’s request. 

The truckers launched their protest Tuesday on Brazilian Independence Day when Bolsonaro called for supporters to back his agenda, including the dissolution of the Supreme Court and replacement of electronic ballots with printed ones ahead of next year’s national elections.

Bolsonaro’s support for the truckers’ earlier protest gained him their trust, and he has remained sympathetic to their complaints of high fuel prices. 

In 2018, a massive truckers’ strike against high fuel prices crippled the Brazilian economy for many days. 

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