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Anti-toll truckers block roads

2013-07-03 09:59

GOING NOWHERE:Truck drivers in Brazil have blocked several highways in a protest against roll tolls.Image: Nick Ut, AP

BRASILIA, Brazil - South Africa is not the only country with 'go-slow' protests against highway toll-roads. This South American capital has several roads blocked by truckers for similar reasons.

Trucks blocked highways in at least five Brazilian states as drivers demanded fuel subsidies, an end to road tolls and better working conditions, local media reported, while here in SA the threat of promised mass protest has diminished to almost nothing.

A military police spokesman told AFP one of the main access roads to Latin America's biggest container port at Santos in south-eastern Sao Paulo state had been blocked for 24 hours before being cleared.

Drivers cleared access to the Conego Domenico Rangoni highway connecting the port with Brazil's interior while police used tear gas to break up a dozen-strong group, police spokesman Mathias do Nascimento said.

PROTEST IN NINE STATES

The blockade had seen an 11km traffic jam build up along the congested route to the port as drivers protested the mooted introduction of tolls for empty lorries, which had been due to be enforced from July 1, but has been postponed.

Other highways were blocked in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, while similar protests were seen in nine states on Monday.

The leader of Brazil's Drivers' Union (MUBC) Nelio Botelho, idicated to Folha de Sao Paulo that the protests would continue until July 4.

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