Alternautas 2022-02-10T18:28:21+00:00 Angus McNelly & Gibrán Cruz-Martínez Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Alternautas</strong> is a multi-disciplinary journal devoted to counter-balancing mainstream understandings of development in/from Latin America – Abya Yala. <strong>Alternautas</strong> emerges from a desire to bridge language barriers by bringing Latin-American critical development thinking to larger, English-speaking audiences. The journal covers a broad range of development issues in a mix of regular and special issues. The journal was launched in 2014 and is fully open-access without fees for readers or authors.</p> Introduction to Special Issue: Critical Perspectives on Covid19 in Latin America 2022-02-10T18:02:14+00:00 Angus McNelly <p>COVID-19 arrived in Latin America in late-February 2020, with the first registered case in São Paulo, Brazil. By late-July, the region had the most cases of any region in the world. By April 2021, Latin America had been hit by its third wave of the pandemic, registering more than 57 million cases and 1.3 million deaths. This introduction to Alternautas’ Special Issue on Critical Perspectives on COVID-19 in Latin America provides the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic for the rest of the issue. It traces the global reverberations of COVID-19 and explores how they played out in Latin America, before then summarising the contributions of each of the articles in the issue in turn.</p> 2022-02-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Fiscal adjustment and gender inequalities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: what is the “new normal” about? 2022-02-10T18:15:50+00:00 María Belén Villegas Plá <p>During the last decade, Latin America has been coping with a new scenario characterized by a reborn of fiscal adjustment discourses. By 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened this policy orientation that seems to stand as central to the response to the economic crisis.This paper argued that fiscal adjustments catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted gender gaps, making women poorer in terms of incomes and time. Expenditure cuts triggered by constraints in fiscal revenues have a disproportionate effect on women and children. Women are more dependent on social policies because they are over-represented in poverty rates, informal work, and lower-income sectors. Likewise, women are employed in sectors that have been severely affected by the health and economic crisis.</p> 2022-02-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Saving the Mother of Brazil: Indigenous Peoples and Active Citizenship amid COVID-19 2022-02-10T18:17:44+00:00 Maria Paula Andrade <p>This article draws on the literature of public health in Latin America and Brazil to examine the role of health in the indigenous’ pursuit of their acquired rights, and their attempts to shape the terms of, and decisions in official health assistance amid COVID-19 (Chalhoub, 1996; Cueto and Palmer, 2015; Sowell, 2015; Westphal et al., 2007; Hochman, 2011; Gibson, 2019). Through the analysis of newspaper articles, reports from indigenous organizations, legislative decisions, constitutional and health rights, this paper seeks to answer the following question: how do the strategies indigenous peoples have developed to pressure the Brazilian government into fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate their exercise of active citizenship and contribution to the strengthening of democracy?.</p> 2022-02-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The provisional nature of science evidenced in times of pandemic 2022-02-10T18:19:41+00:00 Carolina Sotério <p>Trust in science has been problematic over the years. The roots of the problem, in turn, are deep. For a long time, it was believed that the primary obstacle would center on the need for greater provision of scientific information to the non-specialist audience. However, this is a deficit view of the public “understanding” of science and technology, which disregards the associated historical, social and political contexts. The Digital Age has made this issue even more evident, as scientific information is everyday more rapidly accessible online. During the Covid-19 pandemic, global efforts mobilized to share information about this unprecedented scenario, bringing science to the spotlight. Consequently, the population followed every new discovery on-demand, from public policy to vaccine development challenges. This panorama puts the science trust in check again: social media gave voice not only to scientists, but also to any user to express their frustrations on this provisional moment, highlighting what was already known by academics: knowledge is constantly changing.</p> 2022-02-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Oedipus before COVID-19: An essay on the corporatization of political sovereignty and openings in the pandemic 2022-02-10T18:22:05+00:00 César Pérez-Lizasuain <p>Just as in the tragedy of Oedipus, who witnessed his political power stagger due to the terrible plague which shook Thebes, the COVID-19 pandemic questions some of the tenets of political sovereignty and those who sustain it. This explains the diverse reaction of some international leaders when they attempt to frame the battle against the pandemic in terms of the nation-state: we are at war – we are told – against an invisible enemy. The chants of the ancien régime of sovereignty, that of the armies and the epic wars, attempt to cover up with absurd sounds something which they evidently cannot control by merely strengthening their borders or declaring war.</p> 2022-02-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Communal struggles for water through coproduction: Pandemic experiences in Highland Ecuador in historical perspective 2022-02-10T18:25:00+00:00 Geoff Goodwin <p>Covid-19 has exposed acute water inequalities within and between countries. Handwashing is widely seen as one of the most effective measures for preventing the spread of the virus. Yet more than two billion people lack sufficient access to clean water to carry out this basic task. Hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers also lack reliable access to irrigation water, making them extremely vulnerable to seasonal and climatic changes in water supply. The crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated water inequalities as economic activity has collapsed, government revenues have plunged, and poverty has soared.</p> 2022-02-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 In the face of the pandemic: The potential of rurality and peasant agriculture 2022-02-10T18:28:21+00:00 Francisco Hidalgo <p>At the beginning of July 2020, in Ecuador, as in most of the countries of the region, started loosening emergency lockdown restrictions designed to tackle COVID-19 pandemic. In Ecuador, the governmental discourse drew upon the illustrative figure of colours in the traffic lights: high-risk zones depicted as red; the colour yellow to denote control over the pandemic and green delineating lower risk zones. Initially, Ecuador was one of the countries with the highest incidence of COVID-19 in Latin America but with the progressive expansion of the pandemic in the region, other countries such as Brazil, Peru and Chile overtook Ecuador in terms of incidences of COVID per 100,000 people, whilst United States became the country where the virus spread the most.</p> 2022-02-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022