While this article is global in scope, LAB is publishing it because all of the many interesting issues it raises are common to Latin American countries also. Duncan Green worked as a researcher-writer at LAB from 1989 to 1997 and was author of a number of LAB books,...
‘Coronavirus will never hit Costa Rica. There are no direct flights between China and here’. These are the words that an acquaintance confidently shared just 7 weeks ago. Now, Costa Rica is practically in lockdown mode. Meanwhile, Ticos, like people in most other countries, are wondering when the COVID-19 pandemic will end and normality will resume. I first...
LAB received this article from Venezuelan National Science Prize winner Victor Álvarez. We publish it here because of its appeal to both sides of the country's political divide to set aside their differences in the national interest, and to prevent a health catastrophe. The appeal includes a clear demand that the US Government suspend economic sanctions and...
Rios de Encontro, the eco-cultural and social education Project, based in the community of Cabelo Seco, Marabá, since 2008, is in quarantine. Dozens of children and young people have been asking the coordinators since the beginning of March, when the Owl Cinema, the Leaves of Life Library, the Rabetas Audiovisual courses and the AfroMundo dance company...
By Emily Gregg, edited by Mike Gatehouse, with additional material from Peru & Haiti Support Groups UK and LAB correspondents in the regionLAB has put together this overview of the spread of coronavirus across the region and the reaction of governments and politicians. With our limited resources we could not hope to provide a truly comprehensive survey....
Brazil faces two disasters: the pandemic of coronavirus, and the pandemonium of the Bolsonaro government. The first is invisible and highly contagious but should only last a few months. The second is highly visible but has three and three quarter years to run. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32W6axPeisQ Video: Rede TVT, 18 March 2020
This article was first published by The Intercept on 18 March. It was translated for LAB by Chris Whitehouse. You can read the original (in Portuguese) here. LAB has added a note about quilombos and an update on the Covid-19 test results. The main image is from The Intercept. Photo: Nelson...

Buenos Aires under curfew

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On 19 March towards 7.30 p.m., I receive a WhatsApp message from Pedro, one of my main contacts for my PhD research in Buenos Aires. ‘Is it true that they declared the quarantine’, he asks. ‘Yes, until 31 March’, I type. I had just read the newspaper headings announcing what many observers had assumed for days:...
‘I’m not afraid of this virus’, said Idrissa. ‘For me, the problem is the money. There is no money coming in.’ He was sitting on an upturned Quilmes beer crate, leaning his back against a parked car. Few people walked by, nobody seemed to pay attention to the neatly arranged sunglasses on their portable stand that leaned...
Camila Pierobon Camila Pierobon is a Research Associate at CEBRAP (São Paulo). She wrote this piece in a text to a friend after arriving home in Brazil on 18 March. It is published here with the author's permission The chaos where this crazy...

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