RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian truckers supportive of President Jair Bolsonaro blocked hundreds of roads early Tuesday to protest his election loss to former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Since the leftist da Silva’s’s victory Sunday night, many truck drivers have jammed traffic in areas across the country and said they won’t acknowledge Bolsonaro’s defeat. Bolsonaro hasn’t spoken publicly since official results were released roughly 36 hours ago, nor phoned da Silva to concede.
The highway to and from the international airport in Sao Paulo – Brazil’s most populous state and largest economy – was blocked and dozens of flights were canceled. Videos on social media showed travelers rolling their suitcases at night along the highway to the airport. Access was partially reestablished as of 8 a.m. local time.
Bolsonaro, a lawmaker at the time and months away from winning that year’s presidential election, was an outspoken supporter of the truckers, who became a constituency of his. This year, his administration limited interstate fuel taxes to help bring down prices and launched a financial aid program for truckers just ahead of the presidential election campaign.