Soy and sugar cane producers strike in Bolivia

Photo: reuters

Soybean and sugarcane producers have blocked the highway connecting Cochabamba and Santa Cruz in Bolivia for the second day in protest against diesel shortages, local media showed on Wednesday

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In Bolivia, the government implemented decrees 4910 and 4911 that reduced fuel sales to big buyers of gasoline and diesel from 20,000 to 5,000 liters in order to control the fuel and prevent smuggling.

Farmers at the protest that left hundreds of trucks and cars stranded say they feel criminalized by the government's measures and demanded empathy from government leaders.

“We producers only need conditions to work and fuel according to our needs, not to rationalize it to 120 liters; these 120 liters mean nothing to the producer’s sector; we use 400 to 500 liters per day,” said Luis Chove, a farmer at the blockade.

Bolivia subsidizes the hydrocarbons it buys at international prices and sells at a third, which has led to the smuggling of diesel, gasoline, and gas at the borders.

Luis Arce’s government hopes that the measures implemented will save the country USD 250 million a year.