ASUNCION – Striking Paraguayan truckers rolled into downtown Asuncion on Friday, causing a second straight day of traffic chaos in a continuing protest against the government’s decision to allow Brazilian double-trailer trucks to operate in the country.
Government officials met Wednesday with representatives of the truckers association to discuss the drivers’ complaint that the new regulation puts them at a disadvantage because their rigs are not capable of pulling double-trailers.
The talks broke down amid shouts from the truckers demanding the resignation of Public Works Minister Ramon Jimenez Gaona.
The government says that the permit for double-trailers applies only to trucks hauling Brazilian soy along the designated bulk transport corridor that links the border city of Pedro Juan Caballero to the river port of Concepcion, some 215 kilometers (133.5 miles) to the southeast.
The truckers, however, see the initiative as a Trojan horse that will lead to widespread circulation of double-trailers in Paraguay.
Capeco, an association representing Paraguayan agricultural exporters, said Friday that the government should renew negotiations with the truckers, whose strike is having an impact on the farm sector.