Chilean truck drivers announce the cessation of roadblocks in the north of the country

MADRID, Feb. 14 (Royals Blue) –

The National Confederation of Freight Transport of Chile (CNTC) has announced that from this Monday the roadblocks in the north of the country will cease, devised in protest at the insecurity in the area and which have led to the Chilean authorities declaring the state of exception in four local provinces.

“Today everything is going to be normalized,” the president of the CNTC, Sergio Pérez, assured T13 Radio, alluding to the situation on the roads, although he stressed the need for “security” and demanded that drivers “have to be protected to continue supplying the nation”.

“We do not threaten anyone, any government, we want to collaborate and continue working (…) This protest that took place practically at the national level was for the murder of the driver Byron, which was very unfortunate, so the reaction is particularly justified of truck drivers in Chile”, he defended.

Pérez has thus alluded to the origin of the protests, which began after the death last Thursday of a 25-year-old truck driver at the hands of a group of assailants in the Antofagasta region. For this Friday, various calls for mobilization had already been made, especially to carry out blockades on the different routes of the country.

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However, this Monday the Minister of the Interior, Rodrigo Delgado, announced that after an extensive meeting with the union, which lasted more than five hours, the Government has made the decision to declare a state of emergency in the provinces of Arica, Parinacota, Tamarugal and Loa.

This measure will last fifteen days, a period after which it may be extended another fifteen days. Delgado has also announced that the number of police officers at the border will be expanded to stop the illegal passage of migrants in the area.

At this point, Carlos Bretti, representative of the cargo carriers, had already anticipated that the truckers planned to lift the blockades after the announcement of the measures in question. Delgado, for his part, had warned that “if the blockades continue, of course we can and have to take other types of measures,” although he had clarified that he did not want to reach that point.

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Members of the National Confederation of Truck Owners (CNDC) have been blocking several highways for days in the Antofagasta region, in the north of the country, in protest at the lack of security after a truck driver died last week.

In this sense, they have argued that the problem of crime is linked to the migratory crisis that is going through the north of Chile and have assured that many of those responsible for the assaults are migrants. This migration and security crisis in northern Chile originated in early 2021 and mainly affects cities near the border with Bolivia, through which thousands of people enter the country every month.

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