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Latin America in Short: Heat Wave and Restricted Freedoms in the Region

This week the heat wave in Argentina and claims by Human Rights Watch that freedoms have been restricted in the region have made headlines. This and more summarized here.

This week the heat wave in Argentina and claims by Human Rights Watch that freedoms have been restricted in the region have made headlines. This and more summarized here.

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Photos: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post

2021 was not a good year for freedoms in Latin America, Human Rights Watch said this week. This week, in addition, Nayib Bukele was accused of spying on the press in El Salvador. In other news, the heat wave seems inclement in Argentina and Ómicron has led to the cancellation of cultural events in the region. Finally, in sports, Luis Díaz is chosen as the best striker in Portugal. All summarized and explained here.

Bukele: accused of spying on the press

Members of The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto warned about the use of the Pegasus espionage tool to spy on 12 journalists from the Salvadoran outlet El Faro. According to the group of researchers, who worked hand in hand with Access Now, the Israeli tool that is only sold to governments seized the cell phones of communicators between June 2020 and November 2021.

El Faro warned that within the the target of espionage include editors, members of the board and even administrative staff. Since Bukele's arrival in government, El Faro has been one of the most critical of his administration, which would put them under the watchful eye of the president, which is increasingly acquiring more internal power.

Despite the fact that Pegasus software is sold only to governments and under the authorization of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the Government of El Salvador assured to Reuters agency that the country is not a client of NSO Group (owner of Pegasus) and that they will investigate the accusations.

Latin America goes backwards in freedoms: HRW

The international organization Human Rights Watch warned of the loss of freedoms that the region is suffering. According to the NGO report, during 2021 there were constant attacks on judicial independence, freedom of the press and against civil society.

Among the most worrying cases for Human Right Watch, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela stand out, where the governments have been responsible for damaging democracy and freedoms. Likewise, they warned of the situation in Brazil, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala and Colombia.

Heat wave in South America will affect several countries in the region

Since the second week of January, the central region of South America has presented a heat wave that is affecting the countries of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil. So far, record temperatures have been recorded.

The most worrying case is that of Argentina. For example, last Tuesday in the city of Córdoba a temperature of 42.5 ° C was recorded, the highest recorded in the history of the city. Likewise, it is expected that by Friday the temperature in Buenos Aires will reach 42 ° C, and at that time the city will become the hottest place in the world.

In the other three countries already mentioned, alerts have been issued due to the temperatures that have been reached in recent days. Health services invite citizens to follow recommendations such as: drink plenty of water, wear light-colored clothing, stay out of the sun, stay in ventilated spaces.

Events canceled due to the peak of COVID-19 around the world

The beginning of 2022 has been marked by the peak of COVID-19 cases, which largely has to do with the new variant of the virus, the Omicron. Consequently, several events that were planned to be held at the beginning of this year have had to be postponed or migrated to virtuality.

This is the case, for example, of the Grammy gala that was to be held on January 31, but has now been postponed. The Sundance film festival, for its part, will not hold the event in person, but rather virtual. Likewise, several cultural events in Latin American countries that are usually held at the beginning of the year have been canceled by the authorities. The community has shown discomfort with these restrictions and measures, but the World Health Organization insists on the need to abide by them to face the new wave and the new variant.

Luis Díaz chosen as the best striker in Portugal in December

Colombian soccer player Luis Díaz was chosen as the best player in the Portuguese league for the month of December. The peasant, who is going through one of the best moments of his career, finished the last month of last year with 2 goals and 2 assists in this competition. His team, Porto FC, maintains a solid position at the top of the standings, with a home run of 12 unbeaten matches.

Read also: Luis Díaz: Is he the Next James Rodríguez