The truckers' strike continues in Chile: there is a shortage in several areas of the country and the Government demanded that the routes be cleared

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“There is no basis for the strike to continue”, insisted Boric, in the fourth consecutive day of demonstrations demanding a reduction in the price of fuels

The strike of truckers continues in Chile: there are shortages in several areas of the country and the Government demanded to clear the routes

Protests by truckers in Chile, which have kept several routes partially closed since Monday, have begun to generate supply problems (REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)

The Chilean Interior Minister, Manuel Monsalve, this Thursday asked the truck drivers to “take care of the country” and demanded that they “get off the roads” they have takenfor the fourth consecutive day of mobilizations that demand a reduction in the price of fuel and more safety on the roads.

“I ask the truckers to take care of the country, the damage that is being produced to the economy and the normal functioning of the country is serious, get off the roads”, said Monsalve from the Congress, who replaces Carolina Tohá who these days -in the absence of President Gabriel Boric- occupies the vice presidency.

< p class="paragraph">The protests by truckers in Chile, which have kept several routes partially closed since Monday, have begun to generate supply problems in various areas of the country.

The Truckers grouped in the Confederation of Transporters Fuerza del Norte began a demonstration on Monday in various parts of central and northern Chile before the increase in fuel prices.

The union demands from the government of President Gabriel Boric a 30% reductionof fuel prices and keeping it frozen for six months, as well as greater security measures on Chile's routes.

“There is no basis for the strike to continue,” said the president Boric, consulted by Chilean journalists in Mexico, where he is making an official visit.

The strike of truckers continues in Chile: there are shortages in several areas of the country and the Government demanded to clear the routes

The union demands a 30% reduction in fuel prices from the government of President Gabriel Boric (REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)

“As President, I have instructed the ministers to use all the tools of the law to protect the functioning of the country and protect the most vulnerable sectors,” added the president, regarding the order to file complaints against the carriers for the so-called law of internal security of the State.

“27 complaints have already been drafted and sent, of which, at this moment, 13 have already been filed in the regions of Arica, from Tarapacá, from Antofagasta, from Coquimbo, from Valparaíso and from the Metropolitan Region”, reported the Minister of the Interior.

Monsalve stressed that the complaints “have been presented individually” in cases that “have been able to individualize people.”

Other unions expressed their concern about the problems it was causing in the chain of supplies.

The Chilean Supermarkets Guild issued a statement stating that “during the last few hours, the supermarket industry has experienced difficulties logistics that have altered the normal supply of some of its venues throughout the country”.

“This mobilization complicates us, because it occurs right at the beginning of the most important harvest and fruit export season, key to the country's food and income,” Cristián Allendes told local media. , president of the National Society of Agriculture.

The strike of truckers continues in Chile: there are shortages in several areas of the country and the government demanded to clear the routes

“A prolonged strike by truckers is not a strike against the government, it is a strike that attacks Chileans,” said the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve (REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)

Truckers keep their vehicles parked at various points on the Pan-American highway. At times, they blockades and at others they slow down circulation by putting their vehicles in one of the lanes of the highway.

The government reached an agreement on Monday with the National Confederation of Owners de Camiones de Chile to freeze fuel prices for three months.

Cristian Sandoval, president of the transporters grouped in Fuerza del Norte, which leads the demonstration, told local media that this agreement “is not satisfactory”.

The government, meanwhile, has encouraged the truckers to put down the demonstration. “A prolonged strike by truckers is not a strike against the government, it is a strike that attacks Chileans”, assured Monsalve.

Wednesday at the night Carabineros began to clear some of the blocked routes. According to local press reports, four people were arrested in the Coquimbo Region, in the north of the country.

According to calculations by the Ministry of Finance, the 30% reduction in all fuel for six months requested by truckers has a fiscal cost of some 2,500 million dollars, if prices are maintained, which he described as “disproportionate” as it is equivalent to two and a half times the payment of a bonus that last year was delivered to seven million people or almost the entire primary health budget.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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