South America

Argentina passes one million coronavirus cases

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AFP) — Argentina surpassed one million coronavirus cases Monday, with areas outside the capital Buenos Aires bearing the brunt of recent infections. The latest report from the Ministry of Health showed 12,982 new infections in the previous 24 hours, pushing the total to 1,002,649. The number of deaths stood at just over 26,700, while more than 800,000 infected people had already recovered. Argentina — which in March suffered South America’s first coronavirus-related […]

Churches burnt as thousands mark Chile protest movement anniversary

  SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Two churches were torched as tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered Sunday in a central Santiago square to mark the anniversary of a protest movement that broke out last year demanding greater equality in Chile. The demonstration comes just a week before Chileans vote in a referendum on whether to replace the dictatorship-era constitution — one of the key demands when the protest movement began on October 18, 2019. While […]

Brazil’s virus death toll passes 150,000 people: official

  Brasilia, BRAZIL (AFP) — Brazil on Saturday passed the bleak marker of 150,000 deaths from Covid-19, the health ministry said, as the rate of coronavirus infections continues to slow in the South American country. The toll comes as Latin America and the Caribbean marked 10 million cases Saturday and more than 360,000 deaths. The region is the worst hit in terms of fatalities, according to official figures. With 212 million inhabitants, Brazil has accumulated […]

Latin America to bear worst impact from coronavirus: World Bank

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer the worst economic and health impact from the coronavirus, the World Bank said Friday, forecasting a nearly 8.0 percent drop in regional GDP. “Our region is suffering the worst economic and health impacts of Covid-19 of anywhere in the world,” according to Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, the Bank’s regional vice president. He said the findings in the report “calls for clarity on how […]

More than 10 million virus cases in Latin America, Caribbean: AFP tally

  By Agence France Presse More than 10 million cases of the new coronavirus have been recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean according to an AFP tally at 0640 GMT based on official sources. A total of 10,001,833 cases have now been recorded, of whom 366,637 people have died and 8,537,563 are considered to be cured. According to official figures, the region is the worst hit by the virus in the world in terms […]

Venezuela’s Maduro says son to join virus vaccine trial

CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Sunday his son will join trials of Sputnik V, the coronavirus vaccine which was met with caution when Russia announced it was the world’s first to be approved. An initial batch of the vaccine arrived in Venezuela on Friday, the government announced, and 2,000 residents will participate in the trials. “In this clinical trial phase, my son, Nicolas Ernesto Maduro Guerra, told me of his decision […]

Maduro has to leave, Pompeo says on South America trip

  by Shaun TANDON Agence France Presse BOA VISTA, Brazil (AFP) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used a South American tour Friday to tell Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro he “has to leave,” drawing a furious accusation of “war-mongering” from the leftist leader. Touring a refugee center in the town of Boa Vista, Brazil, on the border with Venezuela, Pompeo emphasized the plight of the nearly five million Venezuelans who have fled the country’s […]

Desperate race against fires in world’s biggest tropical wetlands

by Eugenia LOGIURATTO The smell of burnt vegetation and the red glow of flames welcome visitors these days to the Pantanal, the world’s biggest tropical wetlands — a biodiverse paradise that is now partly reduced to ashes by record wildfires. In the northern Pantanal, in central-western Brazil — a region that formerly had a thriving ecotourism industry — hotel employee Felipe Maia is hosing down a wooden bridge, hoping to stop the nearby flames from […]

Latin America and Caribbean pass eight million virus infections

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AFP) — Latin America and the Caribbean on Thursday passed the milestone of eight million cases of Covid-19, days after logging more than 300,000 deaths from the virus, according to an AFP tally of official records. The region, which is the worst hit in the world, had 8,035,484 cases as of 2200 GMT on Thursday, out of a global total of 28.02 million people infected with the disease. The region made up of […]

Brazil could launch Chinese Covid-19 vaccine this year: governor

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Clinical trials in Brazil of a Chinese-made vaccine against Covid-19 have shown “extremely positive” results, and a widespread vaccination campaign could begin as early as December, the governor of Sao Paulo state said Wednesday. Sao Paulo, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in hard-hit Brazil, is one of six states helping to test the so-called CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech. The vaccine produced an immune response […]

Ecuador upholds graft sentence for ex-president Correa

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — An Ecuador court on Monday confirmed ex-president Rafael Correa’s eight-year prison term for corruption, the attorney general said, blocking his vice-presidency run in next year’s elections. Correa, who has lived in Belgium since 2017 to evade the prison term, faces a lifetime disqualification from elections because Ecuador’s constitution bars those convicted of graft. The attorney general’s office said the National Court’s cassation court “by majority vote… rejects the appeals of cassation […]

Nana downgraded to tropical storm over Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (AFP) — Nana was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday as it hit Guatemala, several hours after making landfall in Belize as a hurricane. “Nana has weakened to a tropical depression, moving westwards,” said David de Leon, the spokesman for Guatemala’s Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED.) De Leon said winds had reduced to a maximum of 55 kilometers per hour. “Continued weakening is expected, and Nana is expected to degenerate to […]