Chile govt pledges new safety measures after trucker protest

Published : 13 Feb 2022 08:47 PM | Updated : 14 Feb 2022 04:04 PM

Chilean truck drivers lifted road blockades they had imposed to protest the killing of a colleague, after the government pledged new safety measures on Saturday.

Truck drivers had been blocking roads and setting up barricades since a clash Thursday in which a colleague died near the northern city of Antofagasta.

During the protest, big rigs clogged roads in northern and central Chile, as well as on the outskirts of the capital Santiago.

In the port city of Iquique, trucks sealed off the road to the airport, forcing the cancellation of all incoming and outgoing flights.

Read More: Vaccine leader Chile wrestles with rising Covid infection rate

Police said the trucker died when three Venezuelans threw rocks at his rig because he refused to give them a ride. The three alleged assailants have been arrested.

To appease the protesting drivers, the government Saturday announced new crime-fighting measures in the north of the country allowing soldiers to assist police and stepped-up monitoring of roads from the ground and with aircraft.

Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado announced the measures after a five-hour meeting with a truck drivers' union. He said they will go into force Monday.

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