Santiago de Chile, May 7 (Latest).- The Chilean government announced lawsuits under the State Internal Security Law against those responsible for the stoppage of trucks, in an area in the south of the country, which keeps the main highways blocked after the breach of the agreement to stop the mobilization reached last Thursday by some carriers.
The Executive’s decision, communicated last night, came after the president, Gabriel Boric, gave the first signs that time was running out: “I hope that through dialogue we reach an agreement, otherwise the government will have to proceed accordingly,” said the head of state from the Magallanes region, in the southernmost part of the country.
From La Moneda palace in Santiago, the Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Izkia Siches, assured that they would use “all the instruments that the rule of law” grants the government to guarantee the clearing of the highways.
“Everything has a limit and that limit has already arrived (…) We demand the release of the routes and allow free transit. Along with this, we withdraw the proposals with which we had worked and presented to the truckers,” said the minister.
“Our government has always been available for dialogue. Since the beginning of the truckers’ mobilizations we have worked to respond to each of the demands that have been raised, but everything has a limit,” he added.
Despite the deployment in the area of the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, with whom a six-point agreement was reached, a group of forestry truck drivers who demand a state of exception -militarization- due to the violence in which they dropped out of the talks and maintained the road blockade, according to local media reports.
From the trucking sector that demobilized after the agreement, the manager of the Association of Forestry Contractors, René Muñoz, spoke of a “boycott” by mobilized groups.
“We are going to insist on the issue of safety for our workers -he promised- we have won protection resources both in La Araucanía and in Biobío, which force the Government to sit down and talk with us, and we are going to start raising the problems from those meetings,” Muñoz said.
“Despite everything, we still have tools, and we are going to talk with the government; we are going to make ourselves available to them to search for solutions so that security finally reaches the forest,” he added.
“Some leaders, mainly from truck driver federations, erased with their elbow what they had signed with their hand,” José Hidalgo, president of the Association of Forestry Contractors (Acoforag), declared.
“If she intends to intimidate us for something that is fair and correct, I think that the minister (of the Interior) is misfocused in her perception that truck drivers are going to intimidate us with that kind of thing,” said the president of the Association of Owners of Biobío Trucks, Freddy Martínez, one of the truckers who still supports the cut of Route 5 South.
The main request of the group that maintains the mobilizations is to resume the militarization of the area through a constitutional state of exception, incorporating the Armed Forces into security work.
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