- Illegal gangs are taking over lockdown enforcement in cities like Putumayo and Tumaco.
- In Putumayo, community leader Edison Leon was killed after reporting the group La Mafia to authorities.
- The cartels are also threatening COVID-positive patients to leave the region, or be killed.
- In Tumaco, residents are prohibited to even go fishing for food, or to go out to buy supplies.
With 204,000 COVID-19 cases and almost 7,000 deaths, Colombia is one of the countries struggling to contain the highly contagious disease. The situation has gotten much worse because of the presence of illegal Colombian cartels. These cartels and gangs control various cities and areas by killing some civilians.
The Human Rights Watch reported that at least 9 people were already killed because of lockdown disobedience. The aforementioned gangs implement very strict lockdown measures and kills those who complain or disobey the rules.
One such victim is Edison Leon, a community leader from the region of Putumayo. In June, Leon wrote a letter to the local authorities informing them of the armed group ‘La Mafia’ who is forcing residents to staff a health checkpoint. Days later, he was found dead.
Furthermore, according to an informant in Putumayo, the cartels have shut down transport between villages. When someone is suspected to have Covid-19, they are told to leave the region or they will be killed.
In the city of Tumaco, which is a fishing port area in Colombia, gangs have banned residents from making a living by fishing. Tumaco is also considered one of the most dangerous places in Colombia with the high number of gangs in the place.
Aside from banning fishing, the illegal cartels also force a 5pm curfew to residents, even if government-imposed curfews are not as strict. People can also be harassed and killed if they try to leave their homes even for acceptable reasons such as buying essentials in groceries or pharmacies.
Human rights group and activists are becoming concerned and keeping a close eye on the developments in Colombia as the illegal groups may further take advantage of the pandemic situation to control the political situation in the country.
Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Encouraging Results, According To Scientists
Millions of doses could be ready by the end of the year.
- The coronavirus vaccine by The University of Oxford and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca has shown promising results during human trials.
- The World Health Organization has likewise mentioned the vaccine's development is "good news," although they were quick to add that much work remains to be done.
- Further trials are needed but if things go as planned, millions of doses will be available for the public by the end of 2020.
How One Woman In China Infected 71 People With COVID-19 After A Single Elevator Trip
Researchers believe she was “an asymptomatic carrier.”
- An asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier in China has infected 71 people after a single elevator trip.
- Several of her neighbors caught the virus and it eventually spread in the community, infecting even medical professionals in two hospitals.
First COVID-19 Vaccine Tested In U.S. Ready For Final Testing
The July 27 clinical testing will involve 30,000 volunteers; the world’s largest study for a potential COVID-19 cure, so far.
- The laboratory testing of a potential COVID-19 vaccine is now on its final leg of trial in the United States.
- During the clinical testing with 45 individuals, scientists reported that the vaccine did boost people's immune system.
- The final and most important step will be taken on July 27 when 30,000 volunteers will be injected with the potential cure.
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