MIAMI – Latin Americans were already angry with how their leaders mismanaged efforts to fight the pandemic. Now, a spate of dubbed ‘vaccingate’ scandals in which politicians have jumped the line has sparked a fury that will likely boost voter sentiment as a new electoral cycle begins in the region this year.
“These are not just disclosures of bribes, bribes and hawking; it’s about life and death, ”said Michael Touchton, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami. “The masses will not forget and they will go to the polls with these scandals in mind.”
Two ministers in Peru and one in Argentina resigned earlier this month after receiving preferential access to scarce doses of the vaccine they shared with their relatives and allies. In Ecuador, the health minister resigned on Friday after being criticized for his decision to send part of the country’s first shipment of vaccines directly to a retirement home where his mother and other relatives live. In Brazil, more than 4,700 reports denouncing line cutters have been filed with prosecutors across the country.
Frustration over scandals may not immediately lead to explosive civil unrest like the historic wave of protests the region saw in 2019. Before the pandemic, people took to the streets in often violent anti-government protests, electoral fraud …
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