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Truckers, farmers in Peru block roads in protests over fuel, fertilizer

People walk next to parked trucks during a national transportation strike against fuel prices, in Lima, Peru March 18, 2021. (File photo by Reuters)

Peruvian farmers and truck drivers staged roadblocks on Wednesday (November 23) as part of ongoing protests over high gas prices and fertilizer shortages, hitting the trade and tourism sectors in the South American nation.

Most of the roadblocks were organized in Peru's central and southern regions, the country's ground transportation superintendent SUTRAN reported.

Local television showed hundreds of cargo vehicles along blocked roads in Tacna, Arequipa, Cusco, Puno, Ayacucho, Ancash, and Piura regions.

Farmers and truckers have been feeling the impact of the war in Ukraine, which has pushed fuel and fertilizer prices higher around the world. Peru also has been struggling with its highest inflation rate since the end of the last century.

Truckers have been protesting for three days while farmers are engaged in the second day of demonstrations.

The protests are delaying the arrival of trucks to the port of Callao, Peru's main port, affecting the distribution of imports such as corn and wheat, the Peruvian Association of Maritime Agents said in a statement.

In tourist-popular Cusco, the Transandino Railway company, which ferries travelers to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, announced on Wednesday that it will cease operations on Thursday (November 24) and Friday (November 25) due to the strike.

Farmers have been protesting fertilizer shortages after several failed attempts by President Pedro Castillo's government to finalize an international purchase for the planting campaign that began in August.

Government representatives did not immediately respond to inquiries about the protests.

(Report by Reuters)

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