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Montevideo, October 1st 2020 - 05:07 UTC

 

 

Colombian families abandoned at Sao Paulo airport; no humanitarian flights from Bogotá

Friday, May 29th 2020 - 08:40 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Many Colombians have been caught at Guarulhos International Airport, located on the outskirts of Sao Paulo Many Colombians have been caught at Guarulhos International Airport, located on the outskirts of Sao Paulo

More than two months after the coronavirus pandemic triggered worldwide lockdowns, much of the world is gradually reopening. But Latin America remains highly isolated by travel restrictions across the region.

Colombia has suspended all international flights until at least Aug 31, preventing its own citizens from returning by air. It has also suspended river and land border crossings with neighbors including Brazil.

As a consequence many Colombians have been caught at Guarulhos International Airport, located on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, the city with the lion's share of Brazil's coronavirus cases so far. The same airport saw a surge in traffic last week, when travelers descended on it hoping to beat a new United States ban on foreigners coming from Brazil.

Several of the Colombian families with children and others are eating from lunch boxes and donations and also take turns at an improvised kitchen set up outside the airport. They wash in the airport bathrooms using a small hose.

They are demanding humanitarian flights. But Colombia's foreign ministry said on Thursday no new flights from Brazil were scheduled until next week. Since late April there have been three such flights, taking a total of 346 people back to Colombia.

Though called humanitarian, Colombians must pay US$350 for the flights, and that is money many “imprisoned” at the airport do not have. Their calls for a free flight home have led nowhere so far.

“Under current regulations, this request is not possible,” the Colombian consulate in Sao Paulo said in a statement.

 

Top Comments

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  • Pytangua

    What extraordinary lack of responsibility the Colombian government is showing to its own citizens!!!! But what do you expect in such an elitist country?

    May 29th, 2020 - 09:59 am 0
  • Chicureo

    Perhaps our wise Pytangua can list the egalitarian Latin American countries that can financially justify chartering a flight across our continent for economic migrants.

    I do sympathize with the people, but even LATAM has declared bankruptcy...

    May 29th, 2020 - 05:42 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    Argentina? https://www.mdzol.com/sociedad/2020/5/7/confirman-nuevos-vuelos-de-repatriacion-nacionales-regionales-77779.html
    I also saw that Chile and Brazil had coordinated to arrange return of their citizens all the way from New Zealand.

    May 29th, 2020 - 08:15 pm 0
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