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Jul 12, 2002

Para version en Español, haga un clic aqui
Translated by Mr. Swamy Blanco (garifunab@aol.com)

Information received:
-Type of question: Customer Service
-First name: Celeo
-Last name: Alvarez Casildo
-Country: Honduras
-tacamailemail: clavarez@caribe.hn
-Distance: ff: 20200414135
-Phone number: 9951327
-Remarks: Sirs
-Distance Group: TACA

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Celeo Alvarez Casildo, President of the following organizations: The Black Organization of Central America. (Organizacion Negra Centroamericana, ONECA), The Organization for Ethnic Groups Developement (Organización de Desarrollo Etnico Comunitario, ODECO), I am also member of the Governing Body of the Advisory Board of the Central American Integration. (Directorio del Consejo Consultivvo del Sitema de Intergracion Centroamericana, CC-SICA)

So happens that on 5 June of 2002, I arrived at the airport of San Pedro Sula with purpose of traveling to the Dominican Republic, this in response to an invitation of the Commission of Human Rights in Central America (Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Centroamerica, CODEHUCA) Having in my possession a Distancia Gold, card #20200414135, I invited a friend to the VIP room, I was rather surprise when an employee informed that the card was no longer valid because it had been downgraded to a Distancia Silver. I told him that customers must be continuously informed about their status with TACA to avoid unpleasant moments; I also made a written complaint. Once in flight and moments before taking off, I was invited by TACA personnel to seat in first class I suppose it was a complementary action for what happened.

On 13 June I traveled again on TACA to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil via Miami.

I took flight #390, to Miami, once there; I went to Varig to arrange my connecting flight, #8815. The personnel of Varig informed me that I needed visa to enter Brazil, since I did not meet such requirement, they told me to talk with TACA.

I was taken care of at the TACA’s counter by Mrs. Lily Pinto, and other employee who I do not recall her name, for hotel arrangements and other issues relevant to my trip. At one point Mr. Pinto asked me to accompany her, which I did immediately; ignorant to the rules of the game, plus my extreme anxiety at the time, I went around the counter, what made me react were the shouts of OUT! OUT! OUT! of a couple of ladies that were sitting en a small office behind the main TACA’s counter in Miami. The violence of action frightened me and was only just apologized and left the place.

Subsequently, Mrs. Pinto asked me to talk with Colombian lady about hotel and fight arrangements. I told the lady that I was very indignant for having been verbally insulted by TACA’s personnel and told her that if I were blond person with blue eyes the incident would have not happened.

In such circumstances the right thing to do would have been: “Excuse us sir, no one is allowed in this area, please wait outside.?

The rude attitudes demonstrated by some personnel of TACA have obvious shades of racism and lack of respect for people, which is appalling, and actions must be taken to correct them by reeducating the personnel in race relations. Furthermore, TACA should also hire Afro Latinos and or Afro Descendant personnel. (I did not see an Afro Descendent person working for TACA in Miami) as it should be, given the racial-cultural mosaic that inhabits the Americas including Central America, which is the principal hub of TACA.

Also, I want to express my appreciation for the moral support given to me my other TACA’s personnel in Miami; especially to Claudia Rosales y Niurka, both member of the baggage handling team.


Celeo, Avarez, Casildo


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