Authorities in Bogota are concerned that the expected arrival of a
large group of displaced people in the nation’s capital, could create a
“social emergency”. It is anticipated that the new arrivals will
participate in a protest over forced displacement in Bogota’s Parque
Bogota Government Secretary Clara Lopez said that around 300 displaced Colombians from the departments of Tolima, Quindío, Huila, Valle and Cauca are expected to arrive in Bogota and congregate in Parque Tercer Milenio. Almost 1,200 displaced people have already assembled in the park.
“What the leaders [of the protest] have told us is that they are canvassing support from the displaced population and asking them to come to Bogota to strengthen their demands,” Lopez said.
According to Lopez, the protesters are seeking housing solutions or land for all displaced families as well as permanent economic plans, so that they don’t have to depend on humanitarian aid.
One of the leaders of the movement César
Osorio said that one of their demands was the provision of decent housing conditions, preferably in Bogota, becuase there are no guarantees that the displaced will be able to return to their homes.
Forced displacemnet is a grave problem in Colombia and many displaced people are unable to return to their homes due to the insecurity created by violence between illegla armed groups.
El Tiempo reported that unemployed in the displaced population is as high as 50 percent. The Institute of Urban Development has created 400 positions in civil construction as a step towards addressing the problem.
Protesters are also proposing that each displaced family should receive 8 to 15 million pesos to be used as capital to start up small businesses.