WHO to make Covid-19 vaccines in LAC (Aug. 26, 2021)
- The World Health Organization is starting a program to manufacture vaccines in Latin America and the Caribbean. The move aims to address global inequalities in vaccine access, an issue that “remains the Achilles’ heel” of the pandemic fight, said PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne. Vaccines produced by the program are to be distributed to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, a region where an average of only 23 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated so far, reports the New York Times.
- Pfizer and BioNTech announced a deal with a Brazilian manufacturer to produce 100 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine annually for Latin America, reports Bloomberg.
- Enforced disappearances are a strategy of political repression in Nicaragua, according to a new report by Amnesty International that documents how the Ortega government forcibly disappeared 10 people (including journalists, activists and political opponents) since May of this year.
- Bolivia accused OAS head Luis Almagro of “interference in internal affairs” for his actions following the 2019 election and president Evo Morales’ subsequent ouster. (Deutsche Welle)
- Thousands of Indigenous people marched toward Brazil’s Supreme Court ahead of an expected ruling with far-reaching implications for land rights, reports the Associated Press. Justices will be evaluating a lower court’s ruling that invalidated a claim by some Indigenous people in Santa Catarina state to what they say is their ancestral territory.
- Many opponents of President Jair Bolsonaro are increasingly concerned he will use security forces to challenge next year’s presidential elections in the event of a loss — it is urgent to consider a broad military reform, including military justice tribunals charged with overseeing the armed forces, argues Natalia Viana in the New York Times Español.
- Venezuela’s Maduro government hopes to use a dept-for-equity swap it made last week of shares in a Dominican oil refinery for defaulted bonds as a possible model for future deals, according to Reuters.
- Murders of human rights and community activists in Colombia dropped compared to last year, but, with 78 victims in the first half of 2021, remain high, the country’s human rights ombudsman said. He most are victims of criminal actions by illegal armed groups, reports Reuters. (See Tuesday’s post.)
- El Salvador’s government will present a constitutional reform proposal on Saturday, which will include, among other changes, extending the presidential term, the possibility of revoking the president’s mandate and replacing the electoral tribunal. (Reuters)
- Central American countries are watching to see if El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a parallel legal tender cuts the cost of remittances, reports Al Jazeera.
- Haiti’s most recent earthquake has compounded years of corruption and political crisis — the country cannot afford another catastrophe writes Jonathan Katz in the Guardian.
- Ultra-conservative protests against President Pedro Castillo are adding to polarized political tension in Peru, reports EFE.
- Mexican prosecutors said Ricardo Anaya, an opposition politician who fled the country over the weekend, allegedly took a $525,000 bribe. (Associated Press)
- Bolivia has thousands of dinosaur footprints, but few bones — the Economist explores the paleontological paradox.
- Chile’s sprawling mining sector believes a royalty bill under discussion in Congress could shut down the country’s private miners, according to Reuters.