El Salvador borders: large scale protests/shutdown
This big news story has been completely ignored by international media (based on my web search today). I had read a bit about it in the Honduran news but did not appreciate the scale of the protest until yesterday.
Over the past five days, I rode my Cagiva Gran Canyon 2300 kilometers from my house near Guaimaca Honduras to Tecun Uman Guatemala at the Mexican border and then back. On the way back yesterday (January 25, 2014), I took the southern coastal road CA-2 through Guatemala from Tecun Uman to the road to Moyuta, a few kilometers before the El Salvador border at La Hachadura/Ciudad Pedro de Alvarado.
For roughly ten kilometers on the Guatemalan side of this border, the trucks are parked end to end in the eastbound lane. The truck drivers are camped out and are protesting a new fee that El Salvador has imposed on trucks crossing the border both entering and exiting El Salvador.
My information is based on Honduran news reports and my interviews yesterday with truck drivers, as well as my eye witness account. As I understand, there is a similar protest on the Honduran/El Salvador borders at El Poy and El Amatillo.
I was able to ride eastbound on the westbound side against oncoming car and truck traffic to the Moyuta turn-off. This is do-able by motorcycle but I think it would be tough to do by car. I do not know what the situation is past this point. I do not know if the truckers are allowing motorcyclists or other tourists to pass the border or if it is completely blocked. Keep in mind that this is around 600 trucks parked on the road on the Guatemalan side of the border (based on 10,000 meters divided by 16 meters per truck).
Hopefully others can give more info on this situation.
If the borders are not passable, there is a small border crossing that is not used by trucks on the dirt road between Marcala Honduras and Perquin El Salvador. There has been a lot of rain over the past month, so one could expect mud on this road.
This protest has been ongoing for a couple of weeks now, and must be having a significant economic impact on the affected countries. For example, in my area in Honduras, most of the trucks loaded with produce (tomatos, peppers, etc) go to El Salvador because that is where the processing plants are located. So I assume that the farmers are not getting paid, and that the plants in El Salvador are suffering from a shortage of produce. As best I can determine, there is essentially no cargo of any kind entering El Salvador by land.
Again, those with more info, please add to this thread. I can not believe that there is no international media attention being paid to this issue.