Crime & Justice

Sex workers in Bogota receive crisis aid to weather COVID-19

Bogota, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Hunger on Monday led more than 50 women from a tolerance zone in the center of Bogota to go out into the streets to receive markets managed by the Union of Sex Workers of Colombia in the face of the dramatic shortage of income they face from the coronavirus quarantine.

“We came to receive the markets and it seems to me a good cause because apart from everything we are suffering, the government is not helping us,” Mariana, one of the beneficiaries, told EFE.

The pandemic has drastically altered the way of life of dozens of women who dedicate themselves to this profession, which normally barely leaves them for daily sustenance.

“We are trying to provide humanitarian aid throughout Bogota to calm the hunger that is so strong during these days of crisis,” Juan Carlos Wills, representative to the Chamber, who participates in the initiative with which they have delivered, told EFE.

For women like Mariana, who has been a sex worker for 12 years and has two children, this contribution allows her to take food home and have food for one or two weeks.

“They gave us a ration, cleaning kit, rice, grains, pasta, butter, oil. It is something that works for us all right now. This is enough for eight or 15 days,” added the woman.

Despite the help they have received from private individuals, these women continue to wait for the subsidies and food that the national government and the mayor of Bogota began to deliver in recent weeks to their neighborhoods.

“We are the pillar of our families. The government is preaching, but it is not applying. They talk about applications of the subsidies and nothing has come, they talk about markets for certain localities and there has been nothing,” Fidelia Suarez, president, told EFE and founder of the union.

With the voluntary contributions of Bogota families and companies, these women have received food, clothing, hygiene products and items for their babies since the end of March, when compulsory isolation began in the country.

“We have received support from the Savicol company, which has donated 500 kilograms of chicken to us to give to hungry people. Here, the government has to stop thinking about its pocket while the rest of the country is starving,” he said. Suarez.

The first case of coronavirus in the country was confirmed in Bogota on Mar. 6 and since then the capital has been the main source of infections with 1,597 of the 3,792 national cases. EFE-EPA


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