Lorry drivers who support Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's personal quest against the Federal Superior Court (STF) Thursday agreed to lift the road blockades they had set up in at least 15 states.
Nevertheless, the National Infrastructure Ministry reported there were “still concentration points on federal highways in 13 states, but ... no more blockades on the national road network.
The truckers' decision came after some of their leaders met with Bolsonaro in Brasilia “for a few hours.” In an audio message distributed Wednesday night, Bolsonaro had asked them to end the blockades, which cause shortages and inflation and hurt especially the poorest.
The protests, not backed by the sector's labour unions, began on Tuesday, Independence Day when Bolsonaro delivered speeches against the STF magistrates. In Brasilia, dozens of trucks were parked on the main avenue of the Explanada de Los Ministerios, which Thursday night remained closed to traffic by the police.
The demonstrators showed banners reading Military intervention with Bolsonaro in power, Prison for corrupt judges of the Supreme Federal Court or Bolsonaro, activates the armed forces and criminalizes communism.”
According to Brazil's Federal Highway Police (PRF) truck drivers have been performing stoppages on roads in at least 15 states since late Wednesday aftertnoon in Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Tocantins, Rio de Janeiro, Rondônia. Maranhão, Roraima, São Paulo and Pará.
Earlier Thursday morning, Bolsonaro had announced he would talk to protesters to reach a decision during breaks from his virtual participation at the BRICS Summit.
Truckers' unions had filed lawsuits against Bolsonaro and those actually blocking the roads for damages resulting from the traffic blockades.