(Adds police account of accident)
SAO PAULO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A protester taking part in a strike over rising freight costs died in southern Brazil on Saturday after a truck ran him over at a blockade set up by the demonstrators, highway police and the federal government said.
The protest, now in its 11th day, was continuing in Brazil’s southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, but has waned in other agricultural states. Highway police reported 38 roadblocks mounted by those on strike, down from 57 on Friday.
A spokesman for the federal highway police in Rio Grande do Sul said Cléber Adriano Machado Ouriques, 38, had wanted to address the driver of a truck which had not stopped at the blockade.
Marks on the road indicated the driver had tried to break before he ran over Ouriques and fled the scene, the spokesman said.
In a statement, Brazil’s president’s office lamented Ouriques’ death on the BR-392 highway. The statement expressed solidarity with his friends and family but said the government’s proposals made to the striking truck drivers on Wednesday were the best way to resolve the crisis.
The government has offered to freeze diesel prices for six months and pass a law to help lower toll costs, but protest leaders say it has not sufficiently addressed their concerns over high diesel prices and rising freight costs.
The strike’s economic toll is mounting as the delivery of grains and other food goods slows.
The Rio Grande port said on Friday it may run out of soybeans to load on ships this weekend while the National Pork and Poultry Association said 60 plants had closed temporarily and some starving chickens were resorting to cannibalism.
Roadblocks were reported at five locations on Saturday in top soybean growing state Mato Grosso, where some farmers are running out of diesel fuel needed to run farm equipment. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)