Interior Minister Jose Ellis called on the private unions, which are leading the protests, to stop obstructing the roads because the police have instructions to arrest the detainees and they will be convicted as criminals.
He argued that closing the roads was a crime, violating the dialogue that the government and leaders of transport unions have maintained to date against rising fuel prices.
“We urge you to immediately remove the traffic units that are obstructing the roads,” Ellis said, adding that the owners or drivers of the trucks will be arrested and reprimanded in a timely manner.
The Minister said that his words were not a warning and a threat and thus complied with the law and “have the right to express themselves, but not in this way, to avoid disagreements between power and citizens.”
For his part, Economy Minister Waldo Mendoza confirmed that talks with the leaders of the striking unions had not reached an agreement and that it was responsible for transportation.
He noted that the government has offered to refund 53 per cent of the tax they pay when purchasing fuel, but they are demanding a refund of the total, which is considered unacceptable, although airlines are often tax-exempt from overseas.
Before the talks failed, Transport and Communications Minister Eduardo Gonzalez called on Transport Minister Martin Ojeda to continue talks with Prime Minister Violeta Bermdez.
Gonzalez presented the government’s latest offer, saying the three striking unions had reacted negatively.
These unions have demanded a reduction in the gallon price of diesel used by trucks, which is four times higher than what the manager has offered, and are asking for other points that they deem unacceptable.
Earlier in the day, President Francisco Chagasti said the conflict would be resolved in one way or another today and that the government would normalize traffic on highways.
jcm / mrs
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