Protesters block important grain route in Brazil

Indigenous protesters angry about the federal government's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) blocked an important Brazilian grain transport link on August 18. They promised to stay an additional 24 hours before following a court order to leave, Reuters reported.
The previous Tuesday, the group that blocked the road on Monday had moved to the side for six hours to let a long line of trucks pass before moving back into position.
The Kayapo tribe said the federal government failed to protect them from the COVID-19 pandemic that killed four of their elders. In addition, they have not been consulted on a plan to build a railway line next to their land.
"We're tired of promises not being kept," said a spokesman for the indigenous people.
Reuters reported that Kayapo men, who carried wooden weapons and wore warrior body paint and bird-feather headdresses, began blocking the BR-163 highway in midwestern Brazil with tires and wooden planks and blocking loaded trucks on August 17.There was a three-kilometer backwater.
The BR-163 connects cities in the country's largest farming state, Mato Grosso, with the port of Miritituba, an important export gateway in the state of Pará. With the soy season almost over, the main grain currently being transported by road is corn.
According to Reuters, the tribe's complaints include the construction of the so-called Ferrogrão Railway, which is supposed to cross part of the Amazon to connect the grain-producing state of Mato Grosso with the river ports for soy and corn.
The railroad will run parallel to the BR-163 Motorway, which has become a major route for exporting grain to river ports for transfer to larger ships in the Amazon.

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