Protesters end blockade of key Brazil grains highways

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 31, 2012 10:20 AM
Protesters end blockade of key Brazil grains highways

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Grains trucks in Brazil's key soy and corn state Mato Grosso resumed their journeys to rail and seaport terminals after indigenous protesters lifted a blockade on two key highways, transport police and a grains shipment company said on Friday.

"The traffic is quite intense now. There were a lot of vehicles waiting, mostly carrying grains," federal highway policewoman Carla Santana told Reuters.

A worker at the America Latina Logistica rail terminal in Alto Arraguaia said the pace of grains deliveries had picked up on Friday. The terminal, the starting point for much of the state's grains output, is about 1,700 km (1,056 miles) from the Sao Paulo port of Santos.

The worker, who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the impact of the roadblocks was minimal as the terminal had continued to load train wagons with stocks from its warehouses.

Brazilian daily newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo said the indigenous protesters decided to lift the blockade after government officials agreed to meet with them in Brasilia to hear their complaint.

They are demanding the repeal of a recent modification to a law that facilitates construction works such as hydroelectric dams inside indigenous reserves.

(Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)