Domestic workers and Covid-19 (July 22, 2020)
There are 67 million domestic workers around the world — 80 percent are women. In Latin America the sector employs about 18 million people, 93 percent female, the vast majority of whom are informally employed. (AFP) Throughout the region women are losing paychecks when they can't go to work due to coronavirus lockdowns, or are pressured into working and risk infecting themselves and their families. A Global Voices report looks at the situations domestic workers face in Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil and elsewhere in the world: "Workers clean, cook, take care of children or elderly family members, often without a contract or with poor legal protection. Despite being “at the frontlines” of COVID-19, they are rarely part of COVID-19 response plans."
Bolivian polls put MAS party candidate Luis Arce firmly in the lead for the country's oft-postponed election redo, to be held in September. The big question is whether he can muster up the points to win outright in the first round, and which of the other two leading candidates -- Carlos Mesa or interim-president Jeanine Áñez -- is better positioned to challenge him, explains the Latin America Risk Report. (See yesterday's briefs on how the interim-government's considerable missteps and rights violations favor the MAS party bid.)
A special police unit collected 420 bodies over the course of five days in two Bolivian cities, La Paz and Santa Cruz. The vast majority of the cadavers recovered from streets, vehicles and homes are believed to be Covid-19 related, reports the Associated Press. Bolivia's Institute of Forensic Investigations said that nationally from April 1 through Sunday, its workers had recovered 3,016 bodies of people in possible COVID-19 cases.
An indigenous teen was killed in a police-led coca eradication operative in Colombia's Putumayo province on Monday. It's the second death during psolice operations to eradicate coca crops, reports Telesur.
The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuelan Chief Justice Maikel Moreno and announced a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction for allegedly participating in transnational organized crime, reports Reuters.
Upticks in Mexico's femicide rate and occupancy in shelters where women flee domestic violence contrasts sharply with the López Obrador administration's budget cuts to agencies charged with addressing women’s issues, reports the Guardian.
Mexican marines allegedly abducted 27 people in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in early 2018, 12 of whom were later found dead, according to Mexico's governmental human rights commission. The commission also said marines engaged in “illegal searches and arbitrary detentions," reports the Associated Press.
Mexico passed 40,000 coronavirus deaths, yesterday. The country has the fourth-highest Covid-19 death toll in the world, reports AFP.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has assured Mexico it will get access to coronavirus treatments and vaccines developed by the U.S., according to local media reports. (Newsweek)
Honduras' Supreme Court denied an appeal by lawmaker María Luisa Borjas, who was convicted of defamation and sentenced to nearly three years in prison for naming Camilo Atala, a prominent local banker, as a suspected mastermind in the 2016 killing of environmental activist Berta Caceres. (Associated Press)
Indigenous peoples in several countries in the Americas are experiencing a rising number of cases and deaths from COVID-19. The Pan American Health Organization urged health authorities “to intensify efforts in order to prevent further spread of infection within these communities, as well as to ensure adequate access to healthcare services.”
Indigenous groups in Ecuador launched an information dashboard to monitor the coronavirus and identify contagion hotspots as the disease spreads through the Amazon. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE) has aggregated coronavirus data by area and tribe since early May, reports Reuters.
Aritana Yawalapiti, one of Brazil's leading indigenous chiefs, is battling a severe case of Covid-19, reports AFP. In Brazil, more than 17,000 indigenous peoples have been infected and 544 have died, according to the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples' Association (APIB).
After ravaging major cities, the virus is spreading to Brazil’s sprawling interior, where people are dying in remote towns whose health systems can’t handle the caseload, reports The Intercept.
The Guardian profiles the grim situation of gravediggers who have been struggling with the country's 40 percent increase in burials.
Barbados says it has no intention of ending a Cuban medical mission program engaged in pandemic care on the island, despite a threat by the United States to target countries using the service, reports the Caribbean Media Corporation.
Black Barbadians are becoming more vocal about racism in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, reports Stacey Phillips at Global Voices. "Social media in Barbados has become a crucial tool used by black Barbadians to speak out against the systemic and interpersonal racism that many attest have stained their psyche."
Protesters in Peru attacked and set fire to a convoy of vehicles from the Las Bambas mining group, one of Peru’s largest copper producers, reports Reuters.
Analysts believe Argentina and international creditors will reach a restructuring deal, despite a standoff this week over the government's last proposal, reports Reuters.
What can extreme weather in Argentina's Córdoba province teach scientists -- New York Times Magazine.
Uruguay's post-coronavirus school reopening gets an A plus for safety in The Conversation's comparison of international experiences.
I hope you're all staying safe and as sane as possible, given the circumstances ... Comments and critiques welcome, always.