Truckers from Argentina who denounce the lack of fuel and the rise in prices, carried out a dozen roadblocks demanding a meeting with the government, which assures that it has taken measures against the shortage.
“We are demanding that they let us continue working, that they give us gas oil (diesel), that they respect our prices and increase our freight rates, which is our job”Juan Manuel Acevedo, a 39-year-old truck driver who is participating in the protest, told AFP this Friday. On route 9 that connects Buenos Aires With Rosario (310 km to the north), the country’s main agro-export port, the roadblocks have continued since last Tuesday but will be interrupted over the weekend.
“The fuel in the service stations is not there. They give us 50 or 100 liters at most. We are trying to take care of our jobs”Acevedo said. The trucks need about 500 liters of diesel to fill the tank.
The truckers demand to be received by authorities from the Ministries of Transport and Economy, to which the Energy Secretariat depends.
“We are not leaving here, we stay on the edge of the road and on Monday we will cut again”, affirmed Acevedo, stationed in San Pedro, 200 km north of Buenos Aires, where nearly 8 kilometers of trucks accumulated. Argentine carriers have been complaining about fuel shortages, and accusing stationers of selling it at higher prices to peers from neighboring countries.
“The diesel is taken to Bolivia or Paraguay, and you have to stay five hours to get a little,” lamented Héctor Martínez, a 56-year-old who transports cereals. A long line of trucks block a highway to protest shortages and rising prices of diesel fuel, just as the country’s crucial grain harvest requires transportation amid rising inflation, in San Nicolas, Argentina. / REUTERS/Miguel Lo Blanco
According to Martínez, diesel rose in a short time from between 0.85 and 1 dollar to 1.55 dollars per liter) and further increases are expected.
Maximiliano Almará, who represents the truckers stationed in San Nicolás, another industrial city near Rosario, where the line of trucks extended for 20 kilometers, denounced that the stationers charge “surcharges.”
“If you load 100 liters it is worth a price, but if you want to fill the tank it is worth much more, that means that we cannot continue working,” he warned.
The truck drivers ask that the rates they charge for their work be adjusted so as to be able to cover the costs in a country that had 29.3% inflation between January and May.
The lack of diesel also affects the harvest and planting in agricultural areas, it worsened with the increase in commodities due to the war in Ukraine.
The Secretary of Energy, Darío Martínez, assured this Friday that the government “took several measures to increase the volumes of diesel to supply the demand.”
He assured that now “the refineries are producing at full capacity, which allowed reducing the shortage by 50%.”
“The biodiesel cut was increased to 12.5%, which will generate an injection of 80,000 cubic meters per month at service stations,” he said, blaming the situation on “speculation and stocking, encouraged by international prices that They doubled in dollars.