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Deepnews Digest #70

Looking at Latin America

Editor: Christopher Brennan
Since our last Digest on Latin America the continent has come into even sharper focus as a center of efforts to fight COVID. Articles this week cover major political headlines such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro threatening to pull out of the WHO, but also smaller stories such as that of Mexico City’s Jewish community. They all offer something in-depth, all gathered with the Deepnews Scoring Model.


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Story Source
Brazilian Report
Some of Brazil’s state capitals have claimed to have successfully tamed the coronavirus spread. In Minas Gerais, the governor made the rounds on TV stations claiming they had the best strategy to fight Covid-19, before temporarily reopening the capital Belo Horizonte for business. In the southern state of Santa Catarina, the city of Florinópolis just celebrated one full month without a single casualty from the pandemic.

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The Telegraph (UK) ($)
Covid-19 – and President Bolsonaro’s maniacal response to it – are proving redoubtable obstacles to Brazil’s free market reformation

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New York Times
The threats are swirling around the president: Deaths from the virus in Brazil each day are now the highest in the world. Investors are fleeing the country. The president, his sons and his allies are under investigation. His election could even be overturned.

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Rest of World
The Mexican government’s slow response to Covid-19 spurred Mexico City’s Jewish community to build a parallel digital infrastructure to keep its members safe.

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Associated Press
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s government has stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections in an extraordinary move that critics call an attempt to hide the true toll of the disease in Latin America’s largest nation.

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Houston Chronicle
The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has allowed Mexico’s President Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador to expand his executive authority and focus it on further eroding the reforms aimed at opening energy markets to competition and foreign investment.

Editor’s Note: Houston is an oil town, and that impacts how it looks at its neighbor to the south. This piece by Emily Pickrell, which also featured in our newsletter on energy, digs into what is happening during the pandemic for the folks back in Texas. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Christian Science Monitor
Mexico is “a country of masks,” says Ms. Fernández. “We dance with masks; there’s lucha libre, carnivals, parties. Now we’re using them in different ways.”

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Colombia Reports
Colombia’s government has made several moves during the coronavirus crisis that could severely threaten the country’s peace process and prospects of peace in general.

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Reuters
Panama has isolated nearly 200 migrants in a jungle camp to contain a novel coronavirus outbreak among a much larger group of Africans, Cubans and Haitians stranded by the pandemic in the remote Darien region.

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Centre for Aviation
Latin governments offer the least financial aid to their airlines

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CTV News
TORONTO — A new report detailing COVID-19 outbreaks in mining facilities is accusing dozens of mining companies of prioritizing profit at the expense of the health of workers and local communities by continuing to operate during the pandemic.

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Miami Herald
The deadly novel coronavirus is so prevalent in Haiti, where a fever has been raging for weeks, that a top authority on public health is now saying there’s no need to test anymore to declare that someone is infected.

Editor’s Note: Last week featured a piece from the Miami Herald on Cuba, though the paper also has a reporter dedicated to covering what happens in Port-au-Prince. Here Jacqueline Charles covers issues such as a lack of tests and how local officials are interacting with the CDC. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Associated Press
When Crescencio Flores died of coronavirus in New York, his parents back in Mexico asked for one thing: that their son be sent home for burial.

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Louisville Courier-Journal
In Mexico, cartels are finding ways to capitalize on the virus. That includes fighting over drug sales and coveted routes as police and military are having to turn their focus from traffickers to civil unrest as a result of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 13,000 people in Mexico so far.

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Washington Post
As a farmer eking out a living in Peru’s central jungle, Rubén Leiva grew one cash crop that seemed immune from global cycles of booms and busts. But the coronavirus pandemic has accomplished what neither other international crises nor a U.S.-backed “war” ever could: a collapse in the price of coca leaf, a natural stimulant that is the building block of cocaine.

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AFP
RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has threatened to pull out of the WHO over “ideological bias,” as his counterpart Donald Trump said the US economy was recovering from the coronavirus pandemic while Europe slowly reopens its borders on Saturday.

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The Guardian
Marcos dos Santos Jr has counted 13 deaths from Covid-19 among Brazilian families he is close to in São João de Meriti, a satellite town of Rio de Janeiro. Like him, they were black, and therefore proportionally more likely to be killed by the pandemic in Latin America’s biggest country.

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Associated Press
BOGOTA, Colombia — Television. Sewing machine. Motorcycle. These are the things Edda Marchan’s children sold to keep their mother breathing.

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Open Democracy
Uruguay, the small Latin American state with an outsized international reputation for being a progressive country, is boasting these days about its successful response to COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, it has recorded just over 800 coronavirus infections and 23 deaths.

Editor’s Note: Lockdowns spread around the world have put many women in dangerous positions. Here Diana Caraboni covers the situation in Uruguay, the “Switzerland of Latin America.” – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Bloomberg
Mexico just released devastating numbers showing the impact of Covid-19 on its doctors and nurses, crippling a health system already on its knees. Given the nation’s wealth relative to other emerging markets, the data are shocking — but not surprising to those of us who live here.

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Variety
Shoots are currently shuttered in Sao Paulo, as most of the rest of Latin America, which has become what the World Health Organization has termed the “red zone” for COVID-19. “I trust that we will be able to renew shoots in some weeks’ time, or [in] the second semester of 2020, when the rebates could come into force,” Bodanzky said.

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Mercopress
Five-year-old Miguel da Silva died earlier last week after falling from the ninth story of the high-rise where his mother worked in the city of Recife. She had left him in the care of the white woman she worked for while she took the family’s dog for a walk.

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Financial Times ($)
Coronavirus has hit global business hard but it has not derailed the ambitions of Uruguayan cannabis producers.

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Latin American Herald Tribune
MIAMI – The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that more than 7 million people have been infected with the coronavirus so far, and 404,396 have died, with the daily number of newly detected cases continuing to rise and totaling 131,296 within the past 24 hours.

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The New Scientist
More than a million cases of coronavirus and 60,000 deaths had been registered as of 7 June in Latin America, which includes countries in Central and South America and Mexico. Many are struggling with poor healthcare systems and vast economic inequalities.

Editor’s Note: Many of these pieces take a close look at individual countries and their responses, though Latin America as a whole is now a worry for coronavirus spread. Here Luke Taylor reports from Bogota but tries to get a broad view by comparing countries throughout the region. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

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