Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador

Excerpt from Biweekly Report:

Ecuador:

The situation in Ecuador is by far one of the most gruesome in the world, with Ecuador being considered the South American epicenter of the virus. With several hundred abandoned bodies in the streets and inside homes, fears of indigenous extinction, and discrepancies over the figures of infection and death, suggest that the actual death toll is upwards of 15 times higher than what is currently being reported and that the impact of COVID-19 will continue to have devastating affects. Despite COVID-19 ravaging their country, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court is operating and working to protect citizens against human rights violations after a series of “inconsistent decisions” made by the Judiciary Council.

Venezuela:

COVID-19 Strikes Venezuela at a tumultuous political environment rampant with an alleged coup attempt, anti-drug operations, an alleged sea invasion by Venezuela, and long-time ally Iran hauling the diminishing reserves of gold from Venezuela’s vaults.  While Venezuela has reportedly kept the number of deaths low (345 cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths), this is being heavily debated as misinformation as reporters are being arbitrarily detained. Many Venezuelans are finding that crypto-currencies are further complicating the economic crisis, particularly due to the national crypto-currency, petro, going offline for maintenance, and due to over 20,000 shops and enterprises accepting crypto starting June 1st. Meanwhile, upwards of 12,000 migrants are fleeing Colombia by bus or on foot, all Venezuelan Nationals who had previously immigrated to Colombia to avoid the economic crisis. Prison conditions, which are historically notorious for having deplorable conditions, are worsening due to COVID-19, exemplified by a prison riot in which 45 people were killed and 75 injured.

Colombia:

The political climate in Colombia is also heated due to the Colombian President attempting to usurp local authority power while declaring a national emergency, and failing. Since then, local authority has rivaled the power of the President so strongly that when the President has attempted to restart the economy, the local authorities have categorically rejected the measures. Despite this, Colombia is moving toward partial re-opening by relaxing the strict measures currently in place, including the separation of genders. Colombia saw the failed attempt of an app that tracks active COVID-19 cases, but will be revising and relaunching after partnering with Apple and Alphabet, Inc. Colombia is severely lacking in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and according to a poll of insurance companies who were ordered to provide these kits, 80% never did. Colombians are also finding themselves without food, partially due to the embezzlement of emergency funds and due to price gouging, and are hanging red flags of desperation outside their homes to signal the dire need for help. … Learn More.

Victoria De La Torre

Victoria is a law librarian who has a background in private, academic, and public law libraries and archives. Victoria received both her undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of Denver. She has served as the President of the Rocky Mountain Region of the Special Libraries Association and has recently been elected to serve as the President of the Latino Caucus of The American Association of Law Libraries. Victoria is a New York Times Crosswords enthusiast, a competitive ballroom dancer, and enjoys dog training in her spare time.

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