Late last month, truckers across Brazil went on strike and blocked several highways to demand lower fuel prices and better working conditions. Some of the protesting truckers, however, seemed to go a little bit further, also asking for the return of the military’s authoritarian rule. Several truckers waved banners asking for “Military Intervention Now!”
Until that point, a whopping 87 percent of Brazilians supported the truckers’ movement. But spectators got confused when the group’s agenda seemed to include more than just labor demands. Had the unions involved in the strike really been co-opted by fringe extremist groups?
Anthropologist Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, a professor at the Federal University of Santa Maria, published on Facebook her accounts based on interviews she conducted with some of the drivers. These conversations shed light on what the pro-intervention militants really want. They told her they hoped the Armed Forces would be able to “cleanse” national politics.