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Javier Trigo: cry for help from Medellin

Posted by on May 20, 2020

Javier Trigo: cry for help from Medellin

© Panamericans
Javier Trigo (left) with his teammate Sergio Canseco from Bolivia during the Panamericans in Mexico

MEDELLIN - Billiard player Javier Trigo from Bolivia has been locked up in a small apartment in the centre of Medellin, Colombia for more than two months. There, he played a tournament just before the outbreak of Corona. The second tournament that week was cancelled, but 34-year-old Bolivian was unable to return to his hometown. The airport was closed and no flights to his country were allowed. He was forced to look for a cheap flat, which he shared with two Mexicans, a Nigerian and a Colombian. "The situation is hopeless, we have hardly any money to by food," says Javi, as he's called by his friends in the town of Cochabamba, where he lives, and in billiards.

Due to the crisis, the Colombian government will only allow travel to Bolivia again in August. Javier Trigo lives about 2,800 kilometers (18 hours by car) from where he now resides. The borders are closed, there is no way to get out of Medellin. The cry for help is filled with emotion. ''I really want to go home to my parents, my brother and sister, my friends. We live very poorly here, with only a little money. I am hungry every day, but we can only eat once a day. At home in Bolivia, everyone is having bad times, because they have not been able to work for two months. The situation is hopeless if this will last until August.''

Javier Trigo, who is not only a player, but also was the main referee at the three cushion World Championship in Bolivia in 2017, attended Kozoom for an interview, hoping that the government in his country will come to help him from this bad situation. ''Fortunately, I feel healthy and I am not infected. But I hope, they can arrange a humanitarian flight, which will leave from Bogotá. The roads to the capital city are closed, so I have to rent a car for 200 dollar. The flight is hopefully for, but in my country I need to stay in a quarantine for two weeks, for 430 dollar more. I really feel helpless, I don't know what to do to get out here. There is no way out.''

The Bolivian is a modest player in his country, where almost 40 billiard players participate in the national tournaments. He played in two Pan American events, in Mexico and Argentina, where he faced among others Pedro Piedrabuena, Javier Teran and Luis Aveiga.

Kozoom/Frits Bakker You traveled to Medellin to play two tournaments there with the strong Colombians?
Javier Trigo: The first tournament was in the Máster Club, the second in Iberoamerican in Barranquilla. The first we could play, but then COVID 19 broke out and the city went into lock down. My flight was cancelled, I bought a second ticket, very expensive, but a few hours before departure, it was cancelled as well Two Mexican players could still go home. Javier Teran was with me, but I haven't seen him since then.

Kozoom/FB: How did you try to arrange a return flight to your country?
Javier Trigo: I contacted the embassy, ​​but they can't do anything for me. My country's president says that Bolivia is a poor country, which cannot help the people trapped in other countries. And now it's only getting worse. My money is running out, I have to live with a very low budget and try to survive in this situation. I am in the cheapest apartment for tourists, the latest news is that we can only leave with a 'commercial flight' in August. It's really crazy, I can't survive here for another two months.

Kozoom/FB: What is your profession in your country, do you live with your family? Billiards is just a hobby?
Javier Trigo: I have my own construction company, but I already lost many contracts. We're running out of time now. Billiard players in Bolivia are amateurs, the government does not support us. The situation at home: I live alone in my house in Cochabamba and luckily my parents take care of my cat and my other pets.

Kozoom/FB: How can you get out of this penile situation, where should help come from?
Javier Trigo: I want to do this story, to get it in the sports news in Bolivia. Maybe, the authorities can do something to help me. Many people from Bolivia are also in this situation in foreign countries. I hope my country can help all thoee people, because we really are in trouble. For me, I miss my home so bad, but don't get me wrong. The Colombians are really the warmest and most friendly people in South America.

Javier Trigo (right) with his Bolivian team at the Panamericans




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