The Chilean truckers' strike, which was organized by Chile's National Confederation of Cargo Transport (CNTC) to protest the wave of violence that the sector has suffered in the south of the country, began at 00:00 hours this Thursday with the blocking of Route 68.
“We only ask that we are given the protection that every Chilean is entitled to. The right to work, to live, and to circulate freely on the roads of Chile,” said Sergio Perez, the president of the CNTC.
The trucking union sent the government a series of legislative requirements that, according to them, will ensure the safety of the truckers. Among other things, they ask for the approval of the law to modernize the Carabineros de Chile and the Investigative Police, the law to modernize the intelligence system; and the initiative that modifies the Penal Code to allow the use of special techniques related to terrorist conduct. "We are making a special request to the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch to approve the laws that can get us out of this defenseless state we are in," Perez stated.
The Federation of Truck Owners of the V region, a union that includes the carriers that serve the ports of Valparaiso and San Antonio, has supported the mobilization of the CNTC. “We are going to accompany them in this demonstration if the Executive and Legislative powers don't implement concrete measures to curb the insecurity. The lives and safety of our drivers are the most important thing for our industry. Today they are being shot, assaulted, and frightened,” stated the union's president, Ivan Mateluna.
The president of Fedesur (a subsidiary of the CNTC in southern Chile), Jose Villagran, also expressed his support for the strike. "This time we do not want verbal answers, we want answers that are in the Official Gazette," he said, noting that this was an indefinite strike and that its duration depended on the three powers of the State.
He also said that starting today the truckers “will be parked on the berms and we won't move products until the government, parliamentarians, and judges give us what we ask for: the rule of law. In the south there is no rule of law, there is only impunity,” he said.
The Chilean Government has disapproved of this forceful measure. Minister Jaime Bellolio said the Executive wouldn't fold under undue pressure, and that they shouldn't be given ultimatums. He also said that the strike was promoted by a minority within the union.
Source: MundoMarítimo / simfruit.cl