With our eyes on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in our own national landscapes, it is easy to overlook what is happening elsewhere in the world. Here are three things you might have missed in LATAM in August 2020.
1. LATIN AMERICA HAS OVERTAKEN EUROPE IN COVID-19 DEATHS
With only 8% of the world’s population, Latin America has reported close to 30% of the world’s fatalities due to COVID-19. Several countries have experienced severe resurgences in cases and healthcare systems in Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia have collapsed. Will LATAM leaders continue to push premature re-openings to try to avert economic disaster? Will international partners agree to restructure LATAM nations’ debts?
2. ORGANISED CRIME GROUP MURDERS INDIGENOUS VENEZUELANS
Many mining areas in Venezuela are controlled by organised crime groups. Recently, indigenous Venezuelans protesting increased mining activity were killed by these groups. Other reported crimes in mining areas include extortion, human trafficking, child labour and murder. To what extent has the Venezuelan regime collaborated with organised crime groups? Will these alleged abuses create repetitional damage for importer of Venezuelan minerals?
3. PROTESTS CONTINUE AGAINST BOLIVIAN ELECTION POSTPONEMENT
Highways in La Paz have been blockaded by nearly 150,000 protesters, including many labour union groups. The Bolivian government claims protesters have prevented medical supplies for COVID-19 patients from reaching hospitals, but the protesters deny this. How far will the government escalate its use of force against the protesters? Will international opinion turn against incumbent president Jeanine Añez?
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