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  • Former President Ernesto Samper, Colombia, Oct. 19, 2020.

    Former President Ernesto Samper, Colombia, Oct. 19, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @mariateresagonc

Published 28 October 2020 (19 hours 41 minutes ago)
Opinion

Brazil and Colombia abused in the use of the exceptional powers they applied in order to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colombia’s former President Ernesto Samper (1994-1998) Tuesday criticized the policies applied by Latin American right-wing governments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He pointed out that Colombia and Brazil implemented authoritarian measures, restricted mobility, and even restarted the economy without worrying about the citizens’s health.

Instead of applying policies to develop his country's public health system, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque took advantage of the health crisis to carry out political campaigns.

Samper stressed that the pandemic's economic costs will fall on vulnerable social groups such as people who lose their jobs, workers whose wages are reduced, and retirees whose benefits are reduced.

He referred to the impossibility of bringing together health ministers of the Latin American countries to plan the purchase of medicines and equipment to face the pandemic.

After Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, and Ecuador abandoned the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), there is no credible international body to hold conversations about how to get out of the crisis.

Nevertheless, Samper assured that nowadays the conditions are in place for a new attempt of regional integration, and welcomed Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez attempts to restore UNASUR and include as many countries as possible to the organization.

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