Peru deployed the armed forces to control violent protests against inflation that have intensified since last week, causing clashes with police, temporary food shortages in Lima, and disrupting agricultural exports.

The government has dispatched 95 army patrols to different locations in the country, “especially the critical ones,” Defense Minister Jose Gavidia told reporters on Monday outside the presidential palace. 

Bus drivers began a strike earlier in the day, blocking highways and extending a crisis that had started last week when protesting truckers and farmers interrupted the supply of food to the capital. The country’s agricultural exports, including blueberries, avocados and grapes, are now suffering disruptions, according to an association of exporters.

President Pedro Castillo, who just survived a second impeachment attempt by congress last week, lowered fuel taxes and increased the minimum wage by 10% over the weekend to help Peruvians struggling with the fastest inflation in 24 years. Yet the measures did little to appease bus drivers, most of them working informal jobs without fixed salaries.  

Congress is expected to discuss later on Monday a bill to exempt pasta, chicken, eggs and flour from sales tax.

Housewives angry with rising food costs also joined the protests on Monday and local media showed mini-markets being looted in the southern region of Ica. School classes were suspended until Tuesday amid the chaos.