Latin America and the Caribbean has unfortunately become the epicenter of COVID-19 over the last few months. The numbers speak for themselves. The entire region counts for a total of 4,364,705 confirmed cases and 183,481 deaths as of July 26 with countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Argentina as among the most affected in the entire world. Despite the rapid and catastrophic impact of the pandemic in the region, a few countries have decided to continue their reopening plans and others have continued to completely ignore or deny the reality in their countries. The calamitous situation in the bigger countries eclipses the fact that some of the smaller countries, such as Uruguay, Paraguay and Costa Rica have to some degree managed to mitigate the impact of the crisis so far. Furthermore, some island nations in the Caribbean have claimed a certain degree of success against the pandemic which might be threatened with the upcoming hurricane season.
It is within this framework and state of mind that our project, Law Librarians Monitoring COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean embarks upon a new set of reports called COVID-19 Reports on Latin America and the Caribbean. Since mid-March, our project members have striven to provide a platform for snapshot reports on the situation, to identify trustworthy sources of information and to ignite a conversation with our colleagues here in the United States and throughout the world through our presentations and articles. This is the list of librarians in our project and the countries they are monitoring:
- Marcelo Rodríguez – Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay
- Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran – Argentina, Chile, Uruguay
- Yasmin Morais – Caricom, OECS
- Victoria De La Torre – Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador
- Mary Abigail B. Dos Santos – Brazil
- Ana Delgado – Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
- Ulysses Jaen – Mexico, Central America
In this new round of reports, our project will count with the unwavering support and close collaboration of a group of steadfast librarians working throughout the region. It is our hope that these local librarians will help us to provide an even more nuanced understanding of the complex crisis as well as insightful and unique perspectives which they are first hand witnesses to. Some of these local librarians are:
- Marilia Mello, Library Director of the Federal Court 1st Region in Brasilia, Brazil
- Ruth Navarro, Assistant Librarian at the MERCOSUR Court Library in Asunción, Paraguay
- Jasmin Raymond, Librarian at the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago and Treasurer of the Caribbean Association of Law Libraries (CARALL)
- María Eugenia Naiaretti, President of Argentina’s Association of Law Libraries
- María Angélica Fuentes, Manager of Digital Resources at Chile’s Library of Congress and the Chair of IFLA – LAC
- Aida Moreno, Director of the Juan Bosch Library in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Jane Smith, Library Director of the University of Suriname in Paramaribo, Suriname
- Anne Pajard, Director of the Digital Library at the Université des Antilles et de la Guyane in Fort-de-France, Martinique
From the very beginning, covering every single part of the region has been of utmost importance to the group. We strive to collect, monitor, compare and analyze the situation from the bigger players in the region to the smaller countries and island nations. The local librarians will help us tap into data and issues only available in Spanish, Portuguese, French or Dutch, and we will aim to write original content in these languages as well. Their knowledge and expertise will help the project expand on its multidisciplinary approach and help readers understand the implications of the crisis as well as the multiple connections to other issues. Connecting the dots means that our reports will speak to the comparative and regional angles as well as the specific and more granular issues.
Please do follow, like and share our reports either here in this blog or you can also subscribe to our updates in our homepage. You can also use this subscription form to contact us with any questions, suggestions, ideas, etc. We are always eager to hear from you and any potential collaborations.
This pandemic does not know of political borders and it affects everyone in the world. The more we understand and learn from each other, the more we can strive for a solution to the crisis for the benefit of everyone.