Brazilians began to suffer Thursday as a nationwide strike by independent truckers entered its fourth day. Lack of gasoline at filling stations in big cities, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, led to price gauging and long waiting lines, according to press reports. The same reports said flights were being canceled at 13 of the nation’s airports, including Brasília, because of lack of jet fuel deliveries. Street fairs and supermarkets were not being supplied with fresh produce in many cities, according to reports. Truckers organized protests at more than 300 different sites in 23 states Thursday, causing traffic congestion on major highways and leading to a partial shut-down of operations at the largest port of Santos. Truckers are demanding a roll back in diesel fuel prices, among other concessions. Wednesday night, state-run oil company Petrobras reduced diesel prices by nearly 10%. Earlier Wednesday, the government lifted taxes on diesel fuel, saying the measure would reduce prices by 14%. Representatives of the truckers were due to meet with government officials Thursday night in efforts to negotiate the demands and end the strike.
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