The COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America: social and political dynamics in Brasil and Ecuador

Consuelo Fernández-Salvador, Flávia Bueno, Kruskaya Hidalgo Corder


Consuelo Fernández-Salvador
, Universidad San Francisco, Quito 
Flávia Bueno, Fiocruz-Global Health Network, Brasil
Kruskaya Hidalgo Corder, Latin American Council of Social Sciences, Ecuador
Moderation: Research Network Latin America / Forschungsverbund LateinamerikaABSTRACTSConsuelo Fernández-Salvador:
The politics of racism in the Ecuadorean Amazon: extractive practices and oils spills in times of a pandemic.
The series of disastrous environmental events occurring around the largest hydroelectric in Ecuador located in the northern Amazon region, and the public health emergency created by the COVID-19 has unveiled the deep, engrained structural and environmental racism in a country like Ecuador. It shows that, after fifty years of oil exploitation, indigenous and marginalized mestizo people in the Amazon Region remain excluded. In the Amazonian region people’s lives continue to be less of a priority than the resources extracted from their territory.

Consuelo Fernández-Salvador is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and holds a Ph.D in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies-Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research interests have focused on ethno-politics, extractivism and development, particularly around large-scale mining in the southern Amazon Region in Ecuador. She is now the coordinator for Ecuador of the SolPan Latin American Consortium as part of the research project „Solidarity in times of a pandemic“.

Flávia Bueno:
Universal health and science: will Brazil learn from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Six months after the COVID-19 reached Brazil, the pandemic has changed its pattern: while at first it affected mostly people who had been travelling outside the country, it has now shifted to more marginalized groups of the working class, poor communities and indigenous people. In facing this disease, the National Health System, as well as public universities and scientific institutions such as Fiocruz, have proven to be vital for all citizens. However, the situation also highlights social inequalities in the country and the need to make structural changes, besides those that are urgent to tackle in the context of an international emergency.

Flávia Bueno is a public health specialist with a PhD in Global Health and Sustainability (USP). She worked for several years in the South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS/UNASUR) and now is the coordinator for the Fiocruz Hub at the Global Health Network. She is also the coordinator for Brasil of the SolPan Latin American Consortium as part of the research project „Solidarity in times of a pandemic“.

Kruskaya Hidalgo Corder:
Bodies that don’t matter! Feminist Reflections on Platform Delivery Work in Latin America.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak in the middle of March, the Ecuadorian government has declared food delivery workers as „essential workers“. However, their working conditions have not improved –  they have even become more precarious. Delivery workers were forced to do their job without personal protective equipment or social security. In this context, in which delivering an order may actually mean risking one’s own life, workers in Quito and in different countries of Latin America organized four international strikes in April, May, July, and October.

Kruskaya Hidalgo Corder is a feminist activist and researcher with an MA degree in Gender Studies from the Central European University (CEU). She is part of the Platform Observatory and currently specializing in Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Studies with the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO).

Kategorie: Lateinamerika-Kolloquium
Datum: 4. November 2020 – 20. November 2020
Ort: Universität Wien, Institut für Politikwissenschaft