Covid 19, Democracy and the Lima Group

Republished at Orinoco Tribune

By Atilio A. Boron – Dec 8, 2020

It may seem strange, but there is a very close relationship between public health and democracy because the former reflects the receptivity and response of the authorities to the diseases they attribute to their population. Governments that claim to be “democratic” should exhibit, especially during a pandemic, very good rates of combating the scourge. How can this be measured? Answer: by analyzing the number of deaths by the Covid-19 per million inhabitants, to neutralize the distortions that would be produced by the unequal sizes of the countries.

Applying this indicator, it can be seen that the countries that make up the late Lima Group – already in an advanced state of decomposition – have failed spectacularly in the fight against the pandemic. Peru, whose capital city gives its name to the group, registers a rate of 1,095 deaths per million inhabitants (all the figures in this note correspond are as of December 7th), followed by a compact platoon that also shows its enormous difficulties in bending the virus: Argentina 879, Mexico 850, Brazil 832, Chile 816, Ecuador 776, Bolivia 766, Colombia 743 and Panama 739.

The Lima Group is impatiently awaiting the appearance of a South American statesman who will organize a sober funeral so that it does not continue to be a worldwide laughing stock. This is because there are governments that continue to be members of the Lima Group but, believe it or not, do not sign any of their declarations as in the cases of Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico. This constitutes an extravagance with very few precedents in the international arena because when playing in the major leagues a government is or is not in a group or an alliance of countries. But one can see that the charm of Lima, the old “city of viceroys”, exercises a disturbing seduction on the leaders of these three countries who do not dare to resolve the Hamletian doubt of “being or not being” in the Group which is another way of deciding whether or not “one is or is not” a sovereign country…

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Featured image:  Photo: Alejandro Azcuy (Resumen Latinoamericano-English)

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