Truck drivers protest at Brazil's Paranagua port
SAO PAULO May 29 (Reuters) - Hundreds of truck drivers blocked traffic arriving at southern Brazil's Paranagua port on Thursday to protest a policy that fines them for parking outside designated areas.
Shipment of commodities like corn and soybeans was not affected, the port authority said in a statement, though protesters burning tires and marching slowed traffic arriving at the docks for a few hours.
To smooth out the arrival and loading of grains from Brazil's interior, Paranagua fines drivers parked outside of designated lots. Authorities at Brazil's largest port, Santos, adopted a similar practice earlier this year after trucks parked on the highway blocked traffic and angered beachgoers.
But drivers believe Paranagua authorities have gone too far. Local authorities have issued more than 80 fines this week alone, the port authority statement said, citing trucking groups.
The protest in the southern state of Parana comes amid a wave of strikes and demonstrations across South America's largest country two weeks before it opens the soccer World Cup. Bus drivers, professors and police have all walked off the job or protested for more benefits in recent days. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)