Bolivian Airline, Amaszonas, Fails to Address Passenger's Complaints in Swastika Incident

February 11, 2022

Buenos Aires and Paris - On January 21, a teenager and his family boarded an Amaszonas Airline, flight 118 between La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, carrying a bag with a highly visible swastika. (see photo) As some of the passengers protested, calling for the passenger and his swastika bag to be removed, the airline staff finally chose to ask the young man to hide his bag or be removed from the flight. The passenger eventually relented and hid the offensive bag.

Days later, when the incident appeared on social media networks and was brought to the attention of official Amaszonas customer relations, the airline ridiculed the affair rather than issuing an apology.

Wiesenthal Centre Directors for International Relations and for Latin America of the Wiesenthal Center, Drs. Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, respectively, wrote letters of protest to IATA (International Air Transport Association), with copies to Amaszonas.

“Not only is the behavior of the airline staff unacceptable in their hesitation in asking the passenger and his offensive bag be removed, but its subsequent unapologetic behaviour is reprehensible. Wiesenthal Centre officials are calling for the cancellation of Amaszonas' license and a warning sent to IATA.”

The Centre additionally suggests that IATA and its members adopt the International Holocaust Resource Association (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism.

For further information, please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at +336 09770158 or Dr. Ariel Gelblung at +54 9 11 49695365, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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