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Truck drivers continue to block roads in Brazil after presidential election

Anadolu Agency AMERICAS
Published November 19,2022

Truck drivers in Brazil blocked highways Friday as supporters of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro continued to demonstrate against Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's victory in a presidential runoff.

Authorities registered 17 roadblocks across the country.

The highest concentration of roadblocks was in the northwestern state of Rondonia, where authorities registered 11.

Brazil's Federal Highway Police (PRF) also confirmed roadblocks in the Federal District and the States of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio de Janeiro.

Between Oct. 30 and Nov. 9, authorities arrested 49 people allegedly involved in the roadblocks, with the highest number of arrests in the southern state of Santa Catarina, according to Brazilian news portal G1.

The PRF announced Friday that it had dismantled 1,158 demonstrations since protests began.

Authorities have also blocked the bank accounts of 43 people and companies allegedly driving "anti-democratic acts" following Lula's victory.

Federal Supreme Court (STF) judge Alexandre de Moraes announced the measure was to target the "repeated abuse of the right to assemble."

In recent weeks, authorities have been targeting those they allege are driving undemocratic acts -- ranging from illegal roadblocks and anti-democratic demonstrations amid calls by demonstrators for military intervention.

Demonstrations began after many supporters of Bolsonaro failed to recognize Lula's victory in the tight runoff late last month, claiming the election was stolen.

There was not any indication of election irregularity in Brazil, while overseas, the results were quickly recognized by various leaders.

A report by Brazil's Defense Ministry last week found no electoral irregularities in a detailed document provided to electoral authorities.

Bolsonaro lost to Lula, who garnered 50.9% of the vote compared to Bolsonaro's 49.1%, according to Brazil's Superior Electoral Court.

Lula is set to be sworn in for a third term Jan. 1.