Dozens of people protested Wednesday in front of the local mayor’s office in Bogota, Colombia, to demand that authorities urgently deliver the promised aid to the most vulnerable, as hunger protests are increasing across the country.
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Protesters said the authorities are not living up to the promises they made regarding health and nutrition in the neighborhood, one of the most populous and poorest of the capital.
"The mayor (of Bogota, Claudia Lopez) announced yesterday that she delivered 50 percent of the aid, but when we talk to the people, none of them has received anything nor those who received something were registered," social leader in the neighborhood, Angel Mendez, told Efe.
The lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic has uncovered the hidden problem of hunger in the South American nation where millions of people are more than ever unable to access food, which has led to lootings and agitations in various parts of the country.
Poor people in Colombia are finding themselves unable to comply with the stay-at-home measure in force since March 25, continuing to look for their daily bread in the streets as they used to do to feed their families before the outbreak.
More than five million depend on the informal economy and survive without monthly fixed incomes. Their unique source of survival has gradually disappeared because of the compulsory quarantine, as most of them cannot work from home.
“We look like skinny cows, we no longer have the breath to walk. We are dying not from the virus but from hunger. We have not seen anything of what they promised us, we are suffering hunger,” Sandra Patricia Hurtado, a resident of Ciudad Bolivar, told Efe.
The situation of Hurtado is the one that thousands of Colombians live daily, asking for help from the windows of their homes where they hung a piece of red cloth in desperation.
For millions across the country, the situation turned into a matter of life and death, forcing them to go door-to-door to ask for food in wealthy neighborhoods.
As of Wednesday, Colombia has registered 4,356 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 206 deaths.