Latin America in Short: Crisis at Viva Air | Diplomatic Crisis Between Petro and Bukele

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This week two crises have occurred in Colombia. On the one hand, the airline Viva Air is going through an operations crisis. On the other, Petro and Bukele argue on Twitter about the best way to end crime. These and more news in our weekly summary .

Viva Airplane, Gustavo Petro and Nayib Bukele

Photos: Viva Air, Gustavo Petro, Nayib Bukele

LatinAmerican Post

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Leer en español: Latinoamérica en resumen: Crisis en Viva Air | Crisis diplomática entre Petro y Bukele

The Viva Air airline crisis continues this week in tension with the Colombian government. On the other hand, Presidents Petro and Bukele distance themselves politically and diplomatically after a Twitter discussion regarding the mega-prisons in El Salvador. In environmental and friendlier news, Panama exceeded the goal of ocean protection, thus setting an example for other countries in the region. In global news, the tension between China and the US increases after the head of the FBI assured that the Coronavirus did leave a laboratory in China. Finally, in sports, Kevin Durant had a dream debut with the NBA's Phoenix Suns, and Independiente del Valle had an unlikely triumph in the Recopa Sudamericana.

The crisis in Colombia continues due to the Viva Air 

The low-cost airline Viva Air decided last weekend to completely stop its operation. Alleges impossibility and economic crisis. This event affected thousands of passengers in Colombia and abroad who had pickets with the company and, unexpectedly, were trapped in different airports. At the time, companies such as Avianca, Latam and the state airline Satena served to begin to relieve passengers stranded for the first days, while the government of President Petro tries to find a way out for the Viva case.

Viva Air accuses the Colombian Government of preventing a union between them and Avianca, which they say is essential to avoid going bankrupt. However, the Colombian authorities fear that this merger or purchase will create a monopoly on several routes that are only or mostly operated by Avianca and Viva Air. On Wednesday, the Petro Government gave the airline a 3-day deadline to provide a solution to its customers. Additionally, they will carry out administrative investigations and do not rule out taking control of Viva Air.

Petro and Bukele distance themselves politically and diplomatically

In the age of social networks, disputes between governments today seem to be disputes between presidents. The presidents of Colombia and El Salvador, Gustavo Petro and Nayib Bukele, respectively, staged a dispute on Twitter with accusations and a clear difference in the ways in which both governments propose to reduce crime in both countries.

The clash began when the Salvadoran president published a video of his South American counterpart criticizing the heavy-handed method that Buekele has been developing in El Salvador against gangs. The persecution of gang members through an emergency period and the construction of a mega-prison, Bukele's flags, were targeted by Petro, who labeled them a "concentration camp." The Central American attacked saying that "the results weigh more than rhetoric", and highlighted the low crime rates that his country has had. Petro responded by saying that in Bogotá it went from 90 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants to 13, this in the last 30 years, within which Petro was also mayor.

Also read: El Salvador: Mega Prisons, a Real Solution Against Crime?

Finally, Petro and Bukele represent two ways of fighting crime. On the one hand, the Colombian president today is trying to promote a "Total Peace" project that seeks a great amnesty and improve the conditions or causes of violence. While the Central American has garnered support throughout the hemisphere with his policy of zero tolerance and persecution (sometimes branded as a violation of human rights) against gangs.

Panama exceeds the goal of ocean protection

At the Our Ocean world conference, which was held in Panama from March 2 to 3, this host country announced its new action to protect the oceans. The Banco Volcán marine reserve, located in the Caribbean, will be expanded to 93,000 square kilometers. This was created in 2015 and contemplated the protection of 14,212 kilometers. With this decision, the country will protect 54.33% of its marine area, which will exceed the 30% of the global agreement known as "30x30".

An FBI chief assured that it is likely that the COVID came from a laboratory in China

FBI chief Christopher Wray said in an interview with FOX News that the office believes the COVID-19 virus most likely originated in a Chinese government-controlled laboratory. This is a controversial statement, as several scientists, including WHO experts, have said that there is no evidence to justify this theory. Likewise, the Chinese government asked that the United States not politicize the origin of the pandemic. The White House has not yet declared an official position on the matter. However, Wray's statements put relations even more tense.

The historic triumph of Independiente del Valle

The Ecuadorian team has become the best team on the continent, after beating Flamengo from Brazil in the South American Cup Winners' Cup. In this definition, those directed by Martín Anselmi prevailed by the penalty shootout, an aspect that has given a touch of drama to the consecration of this Ecuadorian institution. With these kinds of results, Independiente del Valle has begun to be considered one of the most outstanding clubs in recent years on the Latin American continent.

A dream debut

Kevin Durant has had a dream debut with the Phoenix Suns, a team that has made the determination to make a high investment to keep their sports rights this season. In the commitment against the Charlotte Hornets, the 34-year-old forward showed all his potential on the court, an aspect that has excited all his new fans. In this game 'KD' was the second highest scorer for his team, as he got the sum of 23 points in 27 minutes played. This is just a small appetizer of all the potential that he can bring to the offensive zone of the team led by Monty Williams.