A new report by Amnesty International denounces Latin American governments’ use of punitive and repressive tactics to enforce confinement measures during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In countries such as Venezuela, Paraguay, and El Salvador, thousands have been detained under “appalling conditions” in state-run quarantine centers that often lack guarantees against human rights violations.
During the pandemic, around 90,000 Venezuelan nationals who fled the country’s socio-economic collapse have now returned, after losing their jobs in places such as Colombia or Peru. President Nicolás Maduro labeled them “bioterrorists,” and ordered their confinement in roughly 105 state-run facilities.
In El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele’s government quarantined 16,780 people in 88 centers — something the country’s Supreme Court found unconstitutional. Back in April, The Brazilian Report showed that Mr. Bukele has used the pandemic as a cover for ramping up his government’s violent anti-gang and authoritarian policies.
In Paraguay, as of late June, authorities had put some 8,000 people under forced quarantine, mostly citizens returning to the country after working informally in Brazil. According to Amnesty International, most of the detainees had little to no access to clear information about the pandemic and the imposed quarantine.
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