SAO PAULO – Brazilian President Michel Temer announced on Friday that he had ordered the army to clear the roads blocked by truckers who have been protesting for five straight days against high fuel prices.
The Brazilian government launched a national security operation to face the “grave shortage” of goods around the country, mobilizing federal security agents.
The decision comes a day after the government announced that the striking truckers had agreed to a 15-day truce, although protests and blockages continued throughout the country on Friday despite the agreement.
“A radical minority is closing roads and preventing many truckers from helping their fellow Brazilians,” Temer said during an address from the presidential palace.
Temer said that the government had had “the courage to negotiate” with the truck drivers and that “now that courage must be used to exert our authority in defense of the Brazilian people.”
“We will not allow Brazilians to lack basic goods. We will not allow consumers to lack products, hospitals to lack basic goods to save lives,” he added.
The truck drivers’ strike has led to shortages of basic goods throughout the country, including gasoline and some foodstuffs.
At least 11 airports, including the one serving the capital, Brasilia, announced Friday that they had run out of jet fuel, while long lines have formed at gas stations after many said they had run out of gasoline.