COVID-19: quilombos in Pará lead the death rate among the quilombola population of Brazil
By Ascom Conaq
Due to the structural failure of successive governments and the dynamics of institutional racism, quilombos do not have a structured health system. On the contrary, reports from most quilombos indicate a fragile healthcare system and the need of long and exhausting journeys to find better structured health centers. The conditions of access to water in many territories are also a cause for concern, because this complicates the hygiene conditions required to prevent the spread of the virus. This situation tends to worsen exponentially with the social and economic consequences of the COVID 19 crisis on the lives of quilombola families.
Since April 11, when the first death among quilombolas was recorded, in the period of 122 days, on average 1 quilombola has died per day. On August 11, the National Coordination of Organization of Black Rural Quilombola Communities (Conaq) reported 151 deaths and the continuous neglect of the Brazilian state.
There are 151 deaths in 16 of the 24 states with certified quilombos and/or in the process of certification. Of these, 28% are in the state of Pará, which also leads the number of contaminated quilombolas and suspected contaminations. The North of Brazil is the most lethal region due to the proliferation of the coronavirus in the quilombola territories, which has 51.2% of the cases mapped by Conaq in all of Brazil.
The inequality in confronting the coronavirus is already evident in the quilombos. It will be devastating if the disease maintains this rate of spread and lethality. CONAQ has drawn attention to the alarming structural factors on the consequences of the proliferation of COVID-19 in the quilombola territories.
This text was originally published on the CONAC website on August 11, 2020.