Leader of pro-Bolsonaro truck protests arrested in Mexico, highway blockades cleared

pro-bolsonaro leader trucks
Zé Trovão. Photo: Social media

Truck driver Marcos Gomes, better known in Brazil as Zé Trovão, published a video on social media affirming he has been apprehended by the Mexican Federal Police and will turn himself in to the Brazilian embassy later today.

Largely unknown until recent weeks, Zé Trovão stood out as one of the leading organizers of anti-democratic protests held in Brazil since September 7. He has been a fugitive of justice for over a week, after Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes issued a warrant for his arrest for inciting a coup d’état.

Despite being out of the country, he continued to publish videos calling on pro-Bolsonaro militants to join protests against the Supreme Court.

However, since the September 7 demonstrations, Zé Trovão appears to have been abandoned by the president and has shown his displeasure with the government’s actions. Shortly after announcing he would turn himself in to the authorities, he pleaded with protestors to remain on the streets. “No one went to the protest to defend President Bolsonaro, we went to the streets to defend our green-and-yellow flag.”

Zé Trovão is currently in Mexico, alongside fellow fugitive and pro-Bolsonaro blogger Oswaldo Eustáquio. In his most recent social media video, the trucker said he was tired and would “not run anymore.”

Meanwhile, after involvement from the federal government, highway blockades incited by Zé Trovão began being cleared around the country. According to reports from the Infrastructure Ministry, protests decreased by 10 percent in the last few hours and continue to dissipate.

Worried about the effect of truck driver strikes on the economy, President Bolsonaro sent an audio message to his supporters last night, asking truckers to go back to work and stop their protests. Initially, the demonstrators did not believe the recording was genuine and have since shown their dissatisfaction with the president’s attitude.