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Latin American Leaders Thrive Monetarily Under Guise Of Covid-19 Pandemic

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As the world battles to get back on track after pandemic induced slowing in the economy, corruption yet again raises its ugly head in Latin America. Confirmed reports are coming in through various media sources that high ranking officials and politicians too have siphoned funds that were actually earmarked to handle the pandemic led human catastrophes in Latin America.

In Brazil for example, the number of Covid deaths have surpassed 65,000 sending signals of doubt over the whole way the pandemic outbreak is being managed. Corruption isn’t new to this place. But now, the federal police have had to launch multiple investigations ensnaring dozens of state and city-level officials and at least three state governors.

Public budgets seemed to have gone missing and their utilization cannot be seen in the betterment of the general public, something that the authorities can no longer ignore. Since April, there have been repeated investigations on periodical basis to check on this heinous theft.

There are charges against officials working in tandem with medical equipment suppliers that have inflated prices of immediate use commodities. The profits earned, it is suspected could have then been paid as kickbacks to such officials.

As of June, the total price of contracts and purchases under investigation amounted to more than R$1billion ($200million). Of this, how much has been gobbled up by politicians and high ranking officials remains unclear. Three governors from Amazonas, Para and Rio de Janeiro are especially under the radar. While Wilson Witzel, the rightwing governor of Rio, is facing an impeachment process, he and others continue to deny charges of wrongdoing. Witzel could be in for losing his office in the coming weeks. The governor is accused of embezzling money through field hospitals, which allegedly overcharged for supplies.

The numbers of those losing their live to Covid-19 is a little than a million- all at the hands of poor economic conditions and medical facilities.
In Mexico too, a similar fate has played up on the inventory of ventilators. The son of a key ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is suspected of selling ventilators on inflated prices to the State social security institute. His company has already been fined a whopping $89,376 for this heinous crime against humanity.

Bolivia’s health minister has also played his part, while an ex- Ecuador President Abdala Bucaram was caught hiding a huge inventory of PPE and corona virus testing kits.

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