Bogota police Thursday afternoon resorted to using force to end the armed occupation of the headquarters of Accion Social, Colombia’s presidential aid agency, by displaced protesters who were demanding promised aid and subsidies.
A group of 150 displaced protesters, who reportedly stripped the building’s security guards of their arms and took them hostage, occupied the building because because they had not received the Accion Social payments owed to them.
After three hours of telephone negotiations, police entered the building and the displaced citizens handed back the weapons and freed the guards.
Several hooded men, who were allegedly the key actors in the siege, were arrested and transferred to a police station where they are expected to be charged with kidnapping.
Three people were reportedly injured during the occupation, one of whom, a pregnant woman, was transferred to a local hospital. Forty minors were involved in the occupation.
Previous reports had indicated that 60 people were involved in the incident.