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Spain govt under fire over Women's Day March on eve of outbreak

Madrid - Spain's left-wing government was facing growing pressure Wednesday after a damning report emerged criticising its decision to permit a huge March 8 rally in Madrid as the epidemic gathered pace.

Mexican filmmaker Cuaron backs domestic workers over pay

Mexico - Oscar-winning Mexican film director Alfonso Cuaron on Tuesday backed calls to ensure thousands of domestic workers laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be paid.

Orthodox Jews arrested over wedding in Argentina

Buenos Aires - Eight people were detained as they were preparing to celebrate an Orthodox Jewish wedding in Buenos Aires despite a lockdown, the local public prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Sao Paulo mayor: cancer survivor, COVID fighter

S - Isolated in his office at city hall, Sao Paulo Mayor Bruno Covas is waging a war on two fronts: the cancer survivor is also leading the fight against coronavirus at its epicenter in Latin America.

Argentina's second city resumes lockdown after virus cases spike

Buenos Aires - Argentina's second city Cordoba has rolled back on the easing of lockdown measures following a sharp spike in coronavirus infections, authorities said Tuesday.

Half of Chile senate, four ministers in coronavirus quarantine

Santiago - Around half of Chile's 50-member senate and four ministers have been placed in quarantine after coming into contact with at least three colleagues infected with the novel coronavirus, officials said Monday, as jobless protesters in a poor area of Santi...

Great-grandmother's losses show virus' ravages in Brazil

Manaus - Maria Nunes Sinimbu thought of the coronavirus pandemic as a faraway crisis.Then COVID-19 killed five of her family members as the disease ravaged her hometown, Manaus, the biggest city in the Brazilian Amazon.

Peru says will build hospital in Amazon for COVID-19 patients

- Peru said it will construct a fast-build hospital in the Amazon as it seeks to respond to a growing COVID-19 emergency sweeping through the indigenous population.

Amazon could be next virus hot zone: scientist

S - The next pandemic could come from the Amazon rainforest, warns Brazilian ecologist David Lapola, who says human encroachment on animals' habitats -- a likely culprit in the coronavirus outbreak -- is soaring there because of rampant deforestation.

Brazil presidential spokesman tests positive for virus

S - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's spokesman has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the government said Wednesday, the latest case to hit close to the far-right leader, who rejects social distancing measures.

Artists, athletes cling to their dreams on Havana's rooftops

Havana - These are hot, humid days in Havana.

Peru prison riot over coronavirus fears leaves nine dead

- Nine inmates were killed and scores of guards wounded when rioting broke out at a prison in Lima after two inmates died from COVID-19, authorities in Peru said Tuesday.The riot broke out Monday at the city's Castro Castro prison.

Colombian capital's mayor under fire for lockdown breach

Apo - Prosecutors in Colombia are investigating Bogota mayor Claudia Lopez for allegedly breaching the country's strict quarantine rules against the spread of the coronavirus.

Colombia's ELN rebels scrap ceasefire

Apo - Colombia's last active rebel group said Monday it will resume its guerrilla war on May 1, ending a one-month unilateral ceasefire over the coronavirus pandemic.

17 police officers killed by coronavirus in Peru

- Seventeen police officers in Peru have died after contracting novel coronavirus while enforcing the nation's pandemic lockdown, officials and state media said.

Famous Andes crash survivor building virus ventilators

Montevideo - Roberto Canessa survived a plane crash in the Andes and 72 days battling extreme weather, hunger and the fear of dying while stranded in a frozen mountain range.

Anguish in Brazil's ICU units overwhelmed by COVID-19

S - Frederic Lima arrived at the already overwhelmed Emilio Ribas hospital in Sao Paulo with coronavirus symptoms. Less than 12 hours later a doctor told the 32-year-old's aunt: "We did everything possible.

US and Mexico 'need each other,' says president Lopez Obrador

Mexico - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador played down on Thursday his counterpart Donald Trump's decision to temporarily halt immigration to the United States, saying it wouldn't affect business between the neighboring countries.

Brazilian city of Manaus fighting 'horror movie' pandemic conditions

Manaus - Bodies are piling up in refrigerated trucks outside overwhelmed hospitals. Doctors are in short supply. Bulldozers are digging mass graves at cemeteries. And the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.

Fear of giving birth in Ecuador's virus epicenter

Guayaquil - Maoli Plaza is eight months pregnant, but she does not know how her baby is or where it will be born.

The agony of Colombia's quarantined sex workers

Apo - Ana Maria broke quarantine rules to make a "home visit," while Estefania left home to sell drugs.Survival has become a struggle for Colombia's sex workers during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, as cupboards are bare and bills pile up.

Searching for dead brings extra agony in Ecuador's largest city

Guayaquil - Darwin Castillo's father died in Guayaquil during the coronavirus pandemic that has caused the Ecuadoran city's health system to collapse.

Brazil's Bolsonaro defends sacking health minister amid pandemic

Bras - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday defended his decision to restart economic activity in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, after sacking his health minister over differences in how to tackle the disease.

Nicaraguans celebrate Easter processions despite Church ban

- With no concern for social distancing, hundreds of Nicaraguans dressed in costumes converged on the southern city of Masatepe to catch and drag "Judas" through the streets.

Waiting for news of the dead at the heart of Ecuador's virus outbreak

Guayaquil - A fetid smell seeps out when an official dressed in full virus protection gear steps out of the door to the Los Ceibos hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Produce-rich Argentina's exports ravaged by coronavirus

Buenos Aires - The United Nations has warned of an impending food shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic as major exporters such as Argentina find it increasingly difficult to sell their produce.

Buenos Aires homeless stuck on the streets during coronavirus lockdown

Buenos Aires - The Argentine government has ordered people to stay at home until mid-April, but thousands have literally nowhere to go -- for them "home" is the street.

Easter Island inhabitants turn to tradition to tackle virus troubles

Hanga Roa - Inhabitants of Easter Island are leaning on a traditional form of ancestral discipline to overcome a coronavirus-imposed lockdown that threatens the Pacific island's vital tourism sector, and consequently their livelihoods.

Troops gather scores of bodies of virus victims in Ecuador city

Quito - Troops and police in Ecuador have collected at least 150 bodies from streets and homes in the country's most populous city Guayaquil amid warnings that as many as 3,500 people could die of the coronavirus in the city and surrounding province in the com...

Latin America's biggest cemetery braces for impact

S - The biggest cemetery in Latin America, a seemingly endless stretch of graves on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, is adapting to the new funeral rites of our times: six-minute burials, no wakes, no hugs.And it is bracing for things to get a lot worse.
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