South and Central America

Brazil’s coronavirus cases top 1.5 million amid record unemployment

By Tomas Castanheira, 6 July 2020

From March to May, some eight million workers lost their jobs, and more than half of the country’s working age population have become unemployed.

Pandemic spirals out of control in South Africa, India, Brazil

By Bryan Dyne, 4 July 2020

The official tallies in each country of daily confirmed coronavirus cases have become exponential, indicating that whatever containment measures were implemented to halt the spread of the virus have essentially collapsed.

Thousands of delivery workers strike across Brazil and other Latin American countries

By Brunna Machado and Letícia Silva, 4 July 2020

Thousands of delivery workers engaged in a strike on Wednesday to demand better working conditions in more than 10 Brazilian capitals, as well as in cities in Argentina and Mexico.

Spain participated in failed 2019 US coup in Venezuela

By Alejandro López, 4 July 2020

New information emerging about the coup exposes Spain’s ruling “left populist” party, Podemos, as a tool of imperialism’s bloody foreign policy in Latin America.

Chile: COVID-19 outbreak in mining regions

By Mauricio Saavedra, 1 July 2020

Three mineworkers have died in the giant state-owned mining corporation Codelco, and some 2,528 are infected, according to the official figures of the Ministry of Mining.

Pandemic surpasses 10 million COVID-19 cases and over 500,000 deaths globally

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 June 2020

COVID-19 cases in the United States have careened out of control, with health care systems in Texas, Florida and Arizona nearing collapse.

Health care collapses in Bolivia after coup regime reopens economy

By Tomas Castanheira, 29 June 2020

COVID-19 cases have tripled in Bolivia since the country began reopening economic activities less than a month ago.

World Bank pushes privatized distance learning in Brazil

By Eduardo Parati, 29 June 2020

The São Paulo secretary of education’s declared intention of “facilitating teachers’ work” is actually aimed at furthering a shift to distance learning.

Brazilian health care workers strike for PPE and risk bonus

By Brunna Machado, 27 June 2020

On Thursday, health care professionals in the Brazilian state of Piauí started an indefinite strike as their counterparts in Rio de Janeiro launched protests.

As COVID-19 cases triple in a month, Latin American elites press ahead with back-to-work campaign

By Andrea Lobo, 26 June 2020

The ruling classes in the most unequal region of the world have based their response to the pandemic and the economic crisis it spurred on protecting their wealth and privileges at all costs.

Brazilian government hides scale of COVID-19 pandemic to promote criminal reopening

By Tomas Castanheira, 25 June 2020

Different studies point to severe underreporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths, as outbreaks at working places spread across Brazil.

Brazilian police arrest key ally of Bolsonaro

By Miguel Andrade, 20 June 2020

Several investigations are threatening the fascist president, who has rallied military ministers to declare “the army doesn’t follow absurd orders.”

Chile’s health minister resigns as disastrous policies lead to explosion in coronavirus infections and deaths

By Mauricio Saavedra, 19 June 2020

A media investigation revealed that the government was providing the World Health Organization a coronavirus body count that was almost double that given to the general public.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 in Brazil’s meat processing plants and mines

By Tomas Castanheira, 17 June 2020

Clusters of coronavirus at large companies across the country threaten the lives of thousands of workers.

Brazil registers world’s second-highest COVID-19 toll as stock market soars

By Miguel Andrade, 13 June 2020

The Brazilian stock market is responding to the unity of the whole ruling class around the back-to-work campaign and the brutal repression of social opposition.

Brazilian delivery workers strike in defense of their lives

By Tomas Castanheira, 12 June 2020

Delivery workers have been carrying out strikes and protests in Brazil since April, connected to delivery workers’ strikes around the world in countries like Spain, Ecuador and Argentina.

Youth protests and worker strikes show mounting social opposition in Brazil

By Tomas Castanheira, 10 June 2020

Strikes and job actions are intersecting with protests of tens by thousands of youth who have joined the international wave of demonstrations against police violence.

Protest in Panama against premature reopening in face of spreading COVID-19

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 June 2020

Despite the highest level of COVID-19 cases in Latin America, the government of Panama is reopening the economy regardless of workers’ health concerns.

Bolsonaro government attempted to censor Brazil’s coronavirus case count and death toll

By Bryan Dyne, 8 June 2020

There are now more than 7 million officially confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, an increase of one million cases in nine days, and more than 400,000 dead.

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro calls demonstrators “terrorists,” threatens military repression

By Miguel Andrade, 6 June 2020

Gen. Hamilton Mourão viciously attacked protests against the murder of George Floyd and social inequality, calling for the arrest of demonstrators.

Protests spread in Chile as hospitals reach saturation point

By Mauricio Saavedra, 5 June 2020

The loss of life is the outcome of decades of pro-corporate policies that have led to a chronically underfunded health system, now on the verge of collapse and extreme poverty.

Brazilian youth join international wave of protests against police violence

By Tomas Castanheira, 3 June 2020

Responding to demonstrations across the US, thousands of people took to the streets of Brazil protesting against police violence, racism and the fascistic president Bolsonaro.

Brazilian Trotskyists issue call for working-class action against pandemic

What will be the cost of implementing this program? Who will pay for it?

Statement of the Brazilian Socialist Equality Group (In Solidarity with the International Committee of the Fourth International), 2 June 2020

With the virus spreading rapidly, Brazil already has the second highest number of cases and sixth highest number of deaths of any country in the world.

Coronavirus cases surpass six million globally

By Bryan Dyne, 30 May 2020

New epicenters in Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent are rapidly causing massive public health crises.

As Brazil leads world in new COVID-19 deaths, Workers Party and pseudo-lefts rally behind capitalist state

By Miguel Andrade, 28 May 2020

The so-called opposition has brought impeachment articles against Bolsonaro for harming “internal security” in his handling of the pandemic.

JBS meatpacking plant reopens in Brazil as Latin America becomes COVID-19 epicenter

By Gabriel Lemos, 27 May 2020

Workers Party governments financed JBS’s transformation into a transnational, whose plants have become COVID-19 hotspots in both Brazil and the US.

Brazil surpasses 350,000 cases as politicians promote rapid reopening of economy

By Tomas Castanheira, 26 May 2020

For the first time, Brazil announced a larger number of deaths from COVID-19 in a single day than the United States.

South America a “new epicenter” of COVID-19 pandemic, WHO warns

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2020

The number of new deaths on the continent is surpassing Europe, and Brazil is rapidly overtaking Russia as the country with the second most infections after the US.

Trump issues new threats as Iranian tankers approach Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 22 May 2020

The Trump administration has vowed to take unspecified “measures” to block the shipment of Iranian fuel to Venezuela, raising the threat of state piracy on the high seas.

Strikes and protests by Brazilian nurses amid explosion of COVID-19 cases

By Tomas Castanheira, 22 May 2020

Over the last 15 days, there have been dozens of protests and strikes by health care workers across Brazil, as more nurses are dying than anywhere else in the world.

Chilean government violently represses demonstrations against hunger

By Mauricio Saavedra, 22 May 2020

The ultra-right government of Sebastian Piñera has responded to an outbreak of hunger protests across Chile with repression and mass arrests

Brazil records 1,179 COVID-19 deaths in a single day amid spiraling political crisis

By Miguel Andrade, 21 May 2020

Even as it closes ranks behind Bolsonaro’s back-to-work campaign, the Brazilian ruling class is conscious that it is bringing Brazil to the brink of a social explosion.

Food delivery workers call for a national strike in Brazil

By Letícia Silva, 20 May 2020

After a series of strikes internationally, food delivery workers in Brazil are calling for a unified strike on May 30 against cuts in pay rates and unsafe working conditions.

Brazilian police massacre 13 in brutal operation in Rio de Janeiro

By Tomas Castanheira, 19 May 2020

“Instead of sending doctors and nurses to protect the residents from COVID-19, the government sends police, armored vehicles and helicopters to kill us.”

Washington places Cuba and Venezuela on “terror” list

By Bill Van Auken, 16 May 2020

After fostering an abortive mercenary invasion aimed at overthrowing Venezuela’s government and murdering its president, the US placed Caracas on a list of governments deemed uncooperative in the “war on terrorism.”

Chile’s government deploys troops in the streets as coronavirus cases soar

By Mauricio Saavedra, 16 May 2020

Ultra-right President Sebastian Piñera has responded to the pandemic, and signs of growing popular resistance, by increasing repressive powers in Chile.

Starving Bolivian workers clash with troops deployed by coup regime

By Tomas Castanheira, 15 May 2020

Amid the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez’s self-proclaimed “interim government” is escalating state repression.

Latin America emerges as new COVID-19 epicenter

By Bill Van Auken, 14 May 2020

The Americas have now surpassed Europe in terms of infections, even as governments and capitalist employers escalate their back-to-work campaign.

With Brazil on course to become new COVID-19 epicenter, Bolsonaro escalates back-to-work campaign

By Miguel Andrade, 13 May 2020

Auto factories have already restarted production even as every region in the country is breaking daily records of cases and deaths.

Number of COVID-19 cases hits 4 million worldwide

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 May 2020

The number of deaths has exceeded 275,000 and infections are growing. Yet, the stock markets continue to rise, despite unprecedented job losses.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro demands return to work as health care system collapses

By Tomas Castanheira, 9 May 2020

A recent study indicates that the country may have more than 2 million infections as Bolsonaro, speaking for Brazil’s employers, urges a “return to normalcy.”

Peru extends quarantine as COVID-19 deaths continue to climb

By Cesar Uco and Don Knowland, 9 May 2020

As immigrants to the capital make desperate efforts to return to their places of origin, overcrowded prisons have become a hotbed for propagation of the virus.

Trump’s “Bay of Pigs” in Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 7 May 2020

The abortive mercenary invasion is part of a campaign of aggression that involves “maximum pressure” sanctions and the deployment of US warships off Venezuela’s shores.

Washington and its puppet Guaidó implicated in armed attacks on Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 5 May 2020

At least two of those captured in the abortive invasion plot have been identified as US citizens.

Argentine unions and employers agree to wage cuts pushing millions into poverty

By Rafael Azul, 2 May 2020

More than a million workers will face hunger and poverty while businesses get massive subsidies.

Brazilian nurses fired for striking in Manaus over PPE

By Tomas Castanheira, 1 May 2020

Thirteen Brazilian nurses were fired after striking on Monday, along with hundreds of their colleagues at the 28 de Agosto Hospital, in the Amazonian capital of Manaus.

El Salvador’s president brands gangs and opposition as “plagues”

By Andrea Lobo, 28 April 2020

The Salvadoran oligarchy’s response to the pandemic is characterized by indifference to the lives of the working class and a turn toward dictatorship.

As Bolsonaro pushes to reopen schools, Brazilian state governments escalate attacks on education

By Gabriel Lemos, 27 April 2020

Brazil’s fascistic president justified his proposal by saying, “It’s a reality: on average, 70 percent will catch the virus… It is no use running away from this reality.”

Food delivery workers in Brazil join international strikes against unsafe conditions

By Tomas Castanheira, 25 April 2020

Over the past week, there have been strikes and protests in Brazil and other Latin American countries, including Ecuador and Argentina, as well as Spain.

Amid warnings of famine and unrest in Venezuela, Maduro renews talks with US-backed opposition

By Andrea Lobo, 25 April 2020

The timing of the renewed talks makes it clear that any settlement with US imperialism would be centrally aimed against a challenge from below.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro escalates coup threats as ruling class pushes “back-to-work” orders

By Miguel Andrade, 22 April 2020

As COVID-19 spread uncontrolled across the country, Bolsonaro delivered a fascist rant in front of hundreds of supporters gathered at Brazil’s Army headquarters.

Protests and looting break out in Colombia over failure to distribute aid amid COVID-19 quarantine

By Cesar Uco and Bill Van Auken, 21 April 2020

The right-wing Duque government has called for reopening “productive life without social life” to meet the needs of Colombian and foreign capital.

Brazilian nurses strike over deadly conditions as COVID-19 deaths mount

By Tomas Castanheira, 18 April 2020

This week, after a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Brazil, protests and work stoppage spread to hospitals and other health care units.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro sacks health minister as Amazonian capital of Manaus is first to face health collapse

By Miguel Andrade, 17 April 2020

Federal and local health authorities in Brazil have widely admitted losing control of the COVID-19 spread, and now Bolsonaro expects a new minister to provide a veneer of rationality to his neglect of the disease

With the collapse of health care system, Ecuador is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Latin America

By Tomas Castanheira, 16 April 2020

Ecuador listed 388 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday, but Guayaquil’s mayor estimates that in her city alone the number is over 7,000.

As COVID-19 pandemic rages, World Bank backs restructuring of education in Brazil

By Eduardo Parati, 16 April 2020

Joining Brazilian education officials and the private sector in an online meeting, a World Bank representative offered directives for a permanent for-profit distance learning system.

Coronavirus exposes Chilean two-tiered health system as deathtrap

By Mauricio Saavedra, 15 April 2020

It is the policy of sustained socio-economic shock therapy initiated under Pinochet that lay the groundwork for incalculable loss of life today

Bolivia’s coup regime extends COVID-19 quarantine amid repression

By Cesar Uco and Don Knowland, 15 April 2020

In a recent speech, interim President Añez stressed that anyone who violates the quarantine will face the “active participation of the Armed Forces and the National Police.”

Brazilian ruling class backs growing military control as COVID-19 pandemic grips country

By Miguel Andrade, 10 April 2020

Barely 35 years after being ousted from power by mass strikes, the military is being welcomed back as caretakers amid the mounting COVID-19 crisis.

As Peru escalates militarization, COVID-19 spreads to remote rural areas

By Cesar Uco, 7 April 2020

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread aggressively in Peru, endangering the poorest people of Andean or Amazonian origin who have low immune defenses.

Ecuadorians protest bodies of COVID-19 victims being left in the streets

By Andrea Lobo, 4 April 2020

Desperate families and neighbors have flooded social media with videos and reports of corpses rotting in their living rooms, sidewalks and parks for days.

General Motors imposes wage cuts and layoffs on Brazilian workers with aid of unions

By Tomas Castanheira, 3 April 2020

GM announced mass layoffs along with a wage cut of up to 25 percent in wages at all its Brazilian plants.

Honduran doctor warns of “collapsed health care system” as coronavirus toll grows

By our reporter, 3 April 2020

“Now we face this COVID-19 pandemic which demonstrates tragically that the armored tanks of the police and warships of the Navy are incapable of saving lives.”

Washington harnesses coronavirus pandemic to promote Venezuela coup

By Bill Van Auken, 1 April 2020

The so-called “Democratic Transition Framework” is a patent attempt to weaponize the global pandemic as a means of installing a puppet regime in Caracas.

Brazilian stadium turned into field hospital as ruling class closes ranks behind corporate bailouts

By Miguel Andrade, 1 April 2020

Shocking images of stadiums transformed into concentration camps for the sick and dying stand in stark contrast to Bolsonaro’s criminal denial of the seriousness of the pandemic.

Peruvian president authorizes military to use lethal force to enforce the national quarantine

By Cesar Uco and Don Knowland, 1 April 2020

A new law shows that Peru’s ruling oligarchy, in anticipation of widespread unrest, is preparing the army to carry out repression with absolute impunity.

Hunger increased by quarantines leads to protests across Latin America

By Andrea Lobo, 31 March 2020

Roadblocks, raids of supermarkets and mass quarantine violations by desperate workers forced to work and find food are spreading across the poorest neighborhoods of Latin America.

Protests across North and South America continue over lack of coronavirus protections

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 March 2020

Health care workers in Mexico, Coca Cola workers in Chile, sanitation workers in North Carolina and Hamilton, Ontario, are among those staging strikes and protests against inadequate safety measures in face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro threatens dictatorship over COVID-19 crisis

By Miguel Andrade, 27 March 2020

Leading Brazilian businessmen have terrorized workers with threats of “40 million unemployed” unless state quarantines are lifted.

“We are not going to die in our cubicles!” – Wildcat strikes erupt at call centers across Brazil

By our reporters, 26 March 2020

Workers have rebelled against unsafe conditions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging transnational corporations like AlmaViva.

Peru deploys army in the streets to enforce COVID-19 curfew

By Cesar Uco and Don Knowland, 26 March 2020

The quarantine and curfew imposed by President Vizcarra are aimed at protecting the interests of the wealthy and preparing the repression of a likely social explosion.

Twenty-three die in Colombia prison revolt over coronavirus conditions

By Julian James, 24 March 2020

Amid fears of the rapidly spreading pandemic, prison riots erupted across Colombia and were brutally suppressed by prison guards.

Mexican medical workers protest lack of supplies

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 March 2020

Medical workers in a number of cities in Mexico have staged protests over the lack of critical supplies needed to treat patients and protect doctors and nurses.

Growing anger among Brazilian workers to response of government and unions to coronavirus crisis

By Tomas Castanheira, 20 March 2020

In the Brazilian auto plants, the life of the workers is being put at risk on a daily basis to ensure that the corporations continue to extract profits.

Hospitals lack water, power, masks

IMF denies loan to Venezuela as it braces for COVID-19

By Andrea Lobo, 19 March 2020

The loan request is only the latest appeal by the Maduro government for foreign finance and signal to world finance capital that it will defend profit interests.

Bolsonaro tells workers to work or starve as COVID-19 spreads in Brazil

By Tomas Castanheira, 18 March 2020

After personally participating in a fascistic demonstration in defense of his government, Bolsonaro made clear his intention to defend the markets at the expense of the lives of Brazilian workers.

Coronavirus overwhelms mitigation measures across Latin America

By Andrea Lobo, 13 March 2020

The late and deficient response by the Latin American ruling elite is being overwhelmed because it is guided by efforts to cover up, not address, the inequalities in access to testing and health care.

After ending oil workers strike in Brazil, union approves plant closure and layoffs

By Tomas Castanheira, 12 March 2020

Instead of "resuming the historic strike," as they had promised, the unions told workers to accept layoffs.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro signs military pact with Trump

By Bill Van Auken, 11 March 2020

The meeting of the two fascistic presidents in Florida was dedicated to escalating aggression against Venezuela, even as the US and Brazil remain divided on economic issues.

Teachers in Mexico block major railway as government deploys National Guard

By Andrea Lobo, 9 March 2020

The response by President López Obrador to the blockades is directed at suppressing any struggles by teachers and other workers against social austerity and capitalist exploitation.

Brazil: Amid brutal police repression, São Paulo government passes state pension reform

By Eduardo Parati and Gabriel Lemos, 7 March 2020

The attack was carried out with the complicity of the teachers union and after Workers Party governments in the northeast of Brazil passed their own pension reforms.

Clash between Bolsonaro and Congress deepens crisis of capitalist rule in Brazil

By Tomas Castanheira, 6 March 2020

The Bolsonaro government’s break with bourgeois democratic forms of rule—like that of Trump in the US or Modi in India—is symptomatic of a profound crisis of the entire capitalist system.

Brazilian postal workers take strike vote; Salt Lake City teachers rally at Utah capitol

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 March 2020

More than 100,000 Brazilian postal workers are set to strike as teachers in the state of Utah rallied to demand education funding

In alliance with Workers’ Party, Bolsonaro sends Brazilian army to contain police strike

By Tomas Castanheira, 27 February 2020

Bolsonaro’s use of the army for domestic repression and his granting troops a license to kill with impunity are in continuity with policies pursued by the PT when it was in power.

Brazilian oil workers’ unions shut down strike to “negotiate” with Labor Court

By Gabriel Lemos, 25 February 2020

The oil workers union federations ended the three-week strike at state-owned oil giant Petrobras just as it threatened to impact Brazil’s economy.

Two impoverished teenagers die working in an illegal Peruvian mine

By Cesar Uco, 25 February 2020

The deaths of the 14- and 17-year-old brothers of gas poisoning in the mine are part of a nationwide toll from the exploitation of workers in illegal and unsafe mines.

Brazilian Army general takes over as Bolsonaro’s chief of staff

By Tomas Castanheira, 21 February 2020

The Brazilian military now holds 9 of 22 cabinet seats—including all of those with offices in the Planalto presidential palace—and has gained a presence in practically every ministry.

Peronism leans on the pseudo-left FIT-U to implement IMF austerity in Argentina

By Andrea Lobo, 19 February 2020

Facing growing popular anger, the Peronist parties and unions are relying on the Left Workers Front-Unity (FIT-U) to prevent workers from mobilizing independently against IMF austerity.

British Columbia, Canada forestry workers betrayed

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 February 2020

An eight-month strike by some 3,000 British Columbia forestry workers ended last week after the union agreed to the imposition of an alternate work shift schedule that raises issues of safety.

Peruvian students protest threatened shutdown of private universities

By Cesar Uco, 17 February 2020

Thirty-nine private universities and two graduate schools failed to meet basic educational standards, threatening 166,000 students with being thrown in the street.

Salvadoran soldiers invade Congress as president warns of imminent “social explosion”

By Andrea Lobo, 11 February 2020

President Bukele’s plan is aimed at preparing to violently crush opposition against the poverty and inequality that gives rise to gangs.

As Brazilian oil workers’ strike grows, Labor Court rules it “abusive”

By Gabriel Lemos, 11 February 2020

The Brazilian ruling elite fears that the strike at the state-owed oil giant Petrobras will spread to other sections of public and private sector workers.

Strike by Mexican Autonomous University staff in Oaxaca

Workers Struggles: The Americas

11 February 2020

Staff at the Benito Juárez Autonomous University at Oaxaca have been on strike since February 1 over salaries, retirement and other issues.

More killed as poll shows half of Chile has joined protests

By Andrea Lobo, 7 February 2020

The demonstrations last week, as well as the ongoing walkouts at high schools signal a still latent social explosion.

Finnish paper and forestry workers continue stoppage; one-day public sector strike across Portugal; wildcat strike at South Africa Toyota in Durban

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 February 2020

Some 15,000 Finnish forestry and paper workers have extended their strike while public sector workers struck across Portugal and South Africa Toyota workers struck over the withholding of bonuses.

Brazil’s Workers Party advances austerity policies in unity with Bolsonaro

By Tomas Castanheira, 5 February 2020

The PT, which promotes itself as a representative of the “left”, in fact constitutes one of the greatest threats to the Brazilian working class, alongside Bolsonaro.

Lavrov tours Latin America as Pentagon brands Russia, China as “malign actors”

By Bill Van Auken, 5 February 2020

Lavrov’s three-nation visit to Latin America comes on the heels of a tour of former Soviet republics by US Secretary of State Pompeo dedicated to denouncing Russia and China.

Brazilian oil workers strike against mass layoffs, privatization threat

By Gabriel Lemos, 4 February 2020

The strike at the state-owned giant Petrobras comes amid strikes by other sections of public sector workers against Bolsonaro’s privatization program.

Six children die from hunger and tainted water in Argentina’s Salta Province

By Rafael Azul, 3 February 2020

The death of the six children in Salta Province is the tip of the iceberg in a social crisis producing illness and death in Argentina.

Peronists vote unanimously to invite US troops into Argentina

By Andrea Lobo, 1 February 2020

The unanimous support of the Peronist ruling coalition provides undeniable evidence of the subordination of all factions of the Argentine ruling class to US imperialism.