Some 300 displaced Colombians staged a 20-hour protest at Bogota‘s domestic flights terminal on Thursday to demand humanitarian aid from the government, causing delays for the airline Avianca.
The protesters stationed themselves at the three entrances of the terminal on Thursday morning, causing delays for Avianca’s domestic flights in and out of Bogota, Colombia’s capital city.
Carlos Julio Aguilar, a representative for the protesters said that Social Action, a government program to aid vulnerable people, had not helped the victims of the mass internal displacement in Colombia.
“We don’t have reparations. Productive projects do not exist,” added Aguilar.
The protesters, some of which were women and children, told the police that they would not move from the terminal until they could speak with Paula Gaviria, director of the Unit of Attention and Reparation for Victims.
The demonstrators succeeded at securing their meeting with Gaviria along with representatives from the Ombudsman and at 3.30am both sides reached a solution with the protesters agreeing to clear the terminal.
Gaviria announced that on September 14 they will carry out a characterization of every victim to determine the help they need and the best route to take for the individual.
On behalf of the protesters, Manuel Rubiano revealed that they were happy with the meeting, that they were listened to and that they will receive reparations and housing.
The demonstrators decided to take the terminal to stage their protest so that they would be visible. Luis Carlos Morales, a spokesperson for the displaced protesters said, “Every time that we protest in a park or a square we are attacked by armed forces and we are not listened to.”
After the disturbance to the schedule Avianca, the only airline that uses the domestic terminal, announced that flights would be leaving again at 10am on Friday. In the meantime staff and passengers had been waiting in the main international terminal of El Dorado airport.
More than 3.8 million Colombians are currently homeless after having been forcibly displaced by violence, according to the United Nations refugee center.