Latin America

Brazil’s Covid-19 chaos the elephant in the room ahead of Mercosur summit

Brazil will meet with its fellow Mercosur members on Friday, and the country's coronavirus catastrophe is set to be high on the agenda

mercosur summit pandemic
Santa Marta favela, in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: PhotoCarioca/Shutterstock

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay will attend this year’s first Mercosur summit on Friday, marking the 30th anniversary of the Treaty of Asunción, which established the common market between Southern Cone nations. A series of post-pandemic economic matters are on the agenda, but there will be a huge yellow-and-green elephant in the room.

Over the last month, the catastrophic Covid-19 situation in Brazil has plastered front pages of newspapers across the continent.

Headlines described bodies being stored on hospital floors in Brasília, intensive care units overflowing with patients, and drastic shortages of critical medical supplies. 

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