Covid 19: bringing out the worst kind of enforcers after lockdown

Ruthless Colombian cartels are executing those who break their coronavirus lockdown rules.

Armed groups have introduced their own bloody system of “justice” and quarantine in regions where infection rates are out of control.

The worrying news was revealed by experts from the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW).”

Colombian cartels executing people who break coronavirus lockdown

Timeline of Colombian cartels:

The virus has seriously thwarted their trade, here are some extracts from the article linked below:

“Coronavirus is dealing a gut punch to the illegal drug trade, paralyzing economies, closing borders and severing supply chains in China that traffickers rely on for the chemicals to make such profitable drugs as methamphetamine and fentanyl.

One of the main suppliers that shut down is in Wuhan, the epicenter of the global outbreak.

“The godfathers of the cartels are scrambling,” said Phil Jordan, a former director of the DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center.

‘Cartels Are Scrambling’: Virus Snarls Global Drug Trade

And how drugs spread Covid 19 en route:

Source: UNODC World Drug Report 2010

How Does Illegal Drug Money Affect the Economy?

Currently, we are experiencing fundamental changes to the global economy, and some economists believe that the era of Western economic supremacy is drawing to a close. As this transitional phase continues, we are likely to see radical changes within the drug trade. The current trend towards legalising and regulating the world’s most valuable cash crop – cannabis – may be an aspect of this fundamental change.”

In Kenya, Africa, policing in poor areas during  curfew has resulted in violence and deaths.

“Another man, 26, from Mombasa’s Mwangulu area in Lungalunga, said that on April 2 police stormed into his compound at around 7:20 p.m. and beat him with whips. He had just stepped out of his house to go to the latrine within his compound when police started beating him, saying he had violated the curfew by being outside at that time. He was injured on his back, hand, and neck.”

Kenya has been a hotspot for criminal drug crime:

WAR ON DRUGS: Kenya, the Forgotten Hotspot of the Heroin Trade

Three years ago the above report emphasises the seriousness of the drug problem in Kenya. Here is an extract:

“Undeniably, Kenya is a major trafficking hub for drugs. It also has a growing consumption problem. Those interviewed for this report detailed a number of approaches that can help defeat traffickers and trafficking: Detect, deter and interdict. It needs strengthening of the country’s data collection systems, international co-operation, effective border controls, and law enforcement.”

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Clean Water Shortages Worldwide: how to fight disease, such as Covid-19?

“According to a point of Buddhism, water is the most valuable and most important thing because of its connection with disease,” says the monastery’s facilities manager, Urgyan. “Clean water helps everything: healthy body, healthy mind.”

A Nepalese Region Reclaims Its Holy Water

, March 2020

The water challenge is only growing. Twenty-one Indian cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, will run out of groundwater by 2030, affecting 100 million people, according to a report by NITI Aayog. Many villages are also facing a severe water crisis, leading to a development crisis, and it is also forcing people to migrate.

As the coronavirus episode shows, India does not have the luxury of time to face related challenges. Since the construction of mega water conservation and distribution projects requires time and funds, it is imperative that the State increase its pressure for small-scale decentralized efforts to guarantee a safe and healthy life for all citizens.”

In Africa, within  The Vhembe District Municipality is a Category C municipality located in the northern part of the Limpopo Province. It shares borders with Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north-west and Mozambique in the south-east through the Kruger National Park. The Limpopo River valley forms the border between the district and its international neighbours. 

The district includes the Transvaal, and areas that were previously under Venda and Gazankulu Bantustan’s administration. It is comprised of four local municipalities: Musina, Thulamela, Makhado and Collins Chabane. The district municipal offices are located in the town of Thohoyandou. 

It covers a geographical area that is predominantly rural. It is a legendary cultural hub, and a catalyst for agricultural and tourism development.


In order to help its citizens, the council has moved fast to provide water for remote village residents to wash their hands:

“The executive mayor of the Vhembe District Municipality, Cllr Dowelani Nenguda, digging the foundation for one of the 10 000 litre water tanks that will be installed at Ha-Ramantsha village under the Makhado Municipality. The tank is one of the 132 tanks donated by the Department of Water and Sanitation in areas without water in order to assist in the prevention of Covid-19. Photo: Vhembe District Municipality.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has donated four water trucks and 132 water tanks (10 000 litres each) to the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) in order to fight Covid-19.

Venezuela: Access to clean water is vital to fight the spread of COVID-19. For Venezuelans that’s an issue. Less than half the households in Venezuela have running water every day.


These tiny “houses” are the famous brazilian favelas, which can be also called slums. Those are houses built illegally by people who can’t afford buying or living in a proper house. It’s in fact a big issue in Brazil since people who live there are taking the risk of not having clean water, or electricity in some of the cases.


Extreme poverty is on the increase in Colombia´s most under-developed regions, with figures revealing over 40% of inhabitants of the remote Chocó have a monthly income of less than 91,000 pesos (47 US dollars).”

United States of America

Refugees without water:

Endless proxy wars have created refugees in dire need of clean water as they endure dreadful conditions.

“The rapid global spread of the COVID-19 has demonstrated that no matter how successful America is at fighting this pandemic here at home, we will never stop this threat unless we’re also fighting it around the world. In this series of issue briefs, the USGLC takes an in depth look at the global response and COVID-19’s impacts on vulnerable populations, global development and diplomacy, and the future of U.S. global leadership. Read more from our series here.”


And solutions for the Rohingya stranded in Bangladesh:

In 2019 

New Clean Water Technology Installed in Rohingya Refugee Camps: The Refugee Crisis as a Water Crisis

It can be done. No one should be without access to clean water. No corporate should privatise life giving water supplies which then exclude the poor who can’t afford it. Water is life.  Those who privatise it point with the finger of death.

Worldometer at 16th July 2020 snapshot:

2,361,593,763 Water used this year (million L)

455,461 Deaths caused by water related diseases this year

799,510,308 People with no access to a safe drinking water source

Then how are they to wash their hands?

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Fossil fuel industry: using the coronavirus pandemic as cover for a stealth attack on environmental protections that keep us safe.

Today I learned a Judge in Canada has given approval to proceed with the Canadian side of the Trans Mountain expansion project after a federal court sent it back for review last summer.  Just as the indigenous tribes protect the rainforest but are losing the legal fight by stealth of deregulators, ( see so the Canadian indigenous tribes who protect the land from Eco harm are losing their legal battles whilst Covid 19 rampages through their populations.

“TORONTO — The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday dismissed an appeal from British Columbia First Nations against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would nearly triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast

The court dismissed the appeal from the Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribes and Coldwater Indian Band, effectively ending the yearslong legal battle over the project.”

Alberta energy minister faces backlash for saying COVID-19 pandemic a ‘great time’ to build pipeline”


Read the timeline history at
And reported concerns in 2018 at

July 2, 2020: The Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal from First Nations about the Indigenous consultation process.

Tracking Covid 19 in the Indian nation’s health system

Graphic of Trans Mountain oil spills from Kennedy Stewart 2. Enbridge Kalamazoo oil spill disaster (2010) next to Kinder Morgan Burnaby oil pipeline spill (2007) 3. Photo of Kennedy Stewart by Mychaylo Prystupa
LLoyd are the insurance company backing the scheme:

Unfriend Coal — a global network of NGOs and social movements appealing for insurance companies to divest out of the fossil fuel business — has called out major insurance companies Lloyd’s, Zurich, and Munich Re for providing hundreds of millions in liability insurance coverage to the Trans Mountain pipeline project.”

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Food Industry: using Covid-19 as an excuse to stop using Fairtrade produce

Please read about the plight of Fairtrade  farmers:

After a decade of sourcing cocoa and sugar for KitKat in the UK and Ireland, Nestlé have informed Fairtrade they no longer plan to buy Fairtrade cocoa and sugar from some of the world’s most vulnerable small scale farmers.  “

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Food industry: China reports 10.4% (35/338) of swine workers were positive for G4 EA H1N1 virus

In 2018 there was widespread African swine flu reported

And we all worry that we may have a repeat of the 2009 H1N1 type pandemic running alongside Covid 19.

Making a vaccine through ‘reassortant’

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Exploitation of food industry workers: Covid 19 highlights their plight

We know how we get our food to our table. To get it cheaply we rely on exploited workers. The economics of the food industry needs analysing whilst it is under the spotlight of Covid 19. Note suggestions for us to consider

Firstly, in the UK, once volunteers were called for to help bring in produce from the fields, replacing the usual migrant workers due to Covid 19 restrictions, they were asked to live in the close quartered, unpleasant farm buildings where desperate migrant workers lived during their seasonal work. Most volunteers refused to take up the work once they saw the dangers of possibly picking up the virus whilst working in the fields and living in unsanitary conditions. So a special government policy was brought to bear to allow the migrants in, mostly from Bulgaria and Romania. The farmers were relieved to sell their produce which they had feared would have to be thrown away if no one picked it.

See and read about the exploitation of workers as viewed by this research in March 2018.

And here we are asked to treat these workers with the respect they deserve. This article back in 2012.

There has been a campaign by ALEC to get workers back into employment before the safety of their workplaces has been solved to their satisfaction.

“Documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) show that a powerful corporate lobby front group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is playing a leading role in the right-wing movement to push for early reopening of the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic that has cost the United States 61,680 lives to date.”

June 2020 US outbreaks among vegetable packing workers

COVID-19 Infections Rising Among Vegetable Packing Workers in California

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases near tomato-growing Immokalee, Florida, are also on the rise. The spread of the coronavirus among Florida farm workers has significant implications for national food production, as many agricultural workers travel north through the summer following the harvest through Georgia, the Carolinas, and into the Northeast.”

July 2020, outbreak amongst vegetable workers at A S Green in Herefordshire, England

It employs about 200 seasonal pickers and packers from Eastern Europe to help with the crop. 

“We confirm that we are working closely with, Public Health England and the Public Health team at Herefordshire Council to support a number of our workers that have tested positive for COVID-19. As a precautionary measure we have arranged for testing of additional key workers including management team members and visitors connected with A S Green and can confirm all results to date outside of our site have been returned with negative results. To date there are 73 positive cases on our site.”

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Feeding SARS coV-2 infected food to the world

In this article:

It is suggested rigorous testing is urgently needed to accurately test food which may contain SARS coV-2 as a result of a worker with the virus contaminating the food before it reaches the consumer. Testing workers is a number 1 priority. Testing food before it is packaged and despatched is the second priority.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, testing for virus infection in foods was developed after children in Germany became ill after eating strawberries picked and frozen in China. See

Many countries, such as the USA, rely on undocumented, immigrant workers to maintain their food supply chain. There are about 175,000 in the USA. Often unable to speak English, intimidated by the gangs who organise them and their employers, desperate for money to live and to one day enjoy life without fear, these people may fall ill but dare not stop working or tell their employers they feel ill.

“Still, most jobs are rural, limiting workers’ access to lawyers, favorable union laws and other jobs. Hourly pay averages as low as $12.50 for backbreaking work, often conducted side-by-side. Workers who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas fear deportation for speaking up.

“Vulnerable populations work well for them,” Joshua Specht, a University of Notre Dame professor, said of the industry.”

Consumers are now nervous about eating pre-packaged food which may carry infections, though some experts have said they have no reason to believe Covid-19 can be passed on this way.

There are signs of the public concern growing which is reflected in trends for testing. See

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Meat Processing Plants: Covid 19

As we all now know, if we didn’t before, meat is processed by workers who are forced to operate in close proximity. As a result many have succumbed to Covid 19.

Latino communities and all communities of color in the U.S. are being affected disproportionately by the spread of coronavirus,” LULAC said in its report. “How the government responds will impact the Latino community for years to come and set a precedent for how the U.S. government responds during times of crisis and how it deals with the exigent needs of underserved communities of color.”

According to the report, some of the steps that should be taken in response to the pandemic are local and federal collection of ethnic and racial cases and deaths, the publication of immediate, critical information in Spanish, immediate temporary protective status for undocumented people working in the health fields and as essential workers, funding for small business loans and the release of immigrant detainees.

“We need to make sure we close those inequities,” Garcia said. “Otherwise, we are going to have a disproportionate impact on the Latino community in the United States.”

It was obvious that when people have no choice but to work in close proximity, such as medical professionals, they are in need of the highest form of protection. We have seen many such workers die from Covid 19, mostly due to the delay of adequate protection as their governments were too slow to react with vital health and safety measures.

It is till taking far too long for workers, who find themselves in unsafe environments, to have their work environment made safe for them to work without fear. These could be, for example, garment makers, oil workers, agricultural workers, coal miners and those who work in food markets. Those who work in food processing plants not only have suffered unsafe environments, but often, when the factory is forced to close, lose their vital employment and there is usually no safety net to provide income. Yet the conglomerates who own these massive plants will demand corporate welfare and will rarely share that with their workers.

  • In January 2020, despite Covid  19, red meat exports were holding steady in New Zealand:

  • Brazil June 2020:

As of Friday 19 June, almost 24 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Brazil’s southern Rio Grande do Sul state were workers in the local meat industry, according to labour prosecutors and state health data.”

  • And in June 2020 in the UK:

“Outbreaks in meat processing plants have been common features of the pandemic, with research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) showing that after ships and workers’ dormitories food processing factories have been responsible for the biggest localised outbreaks.”

“Rowan Foods Wrexham is the latest food factory to be hit by a major coronavirus outbreak. An Asda meat factory has also been closed after an outbreak ”

  • And in the USA:

“Eventually, 277 of the more than 1,000 workers tested would test positive. Three workers died due to the outbreak, the Tri-City Herald reported.”

  • In Germany, late June:

Germany: New Local Corona Outbreak in Berlin, Workers Flee Gütersloh Quarantine

Scientists believe they may have found contributing factors that led to the country’s biggest single outbreak at an abattoir in North Rhine-Westphalia – cold temperatures and an insufficient air filtration system that allowed the pathogen to spread rapidly.”

Calls for change

Heil told the broadcast: “The exploitation of people from Central and Eastern Europe, which has obviously taken place there, is now becoming a general health risk in the pandemic with considerable damage.” Therefore, “there has to be a fundamental change in this industry.”

  • Selected countries meat consumption as of 2014:

  • Renewed outbreaks since lockdown eased, June 23rd 2020:

“Coronavirus latest: Fresh lockdown for German district after meat-packing outbreak”

  • And perhaps worth following is what is happening around the world where the food industry is concerned:

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The Food Industry and Covid 19

The Coronoravirus epidemic has highlighted many inequalities in society – the poorest are hit hardest by the consequences of the disease.  I will add to this blog as I research it, but do not want to delay its publication as matters are so dire for thousands of people in the world.

  • My suggestion:

It seems to me that remuneration at the top management needs to be reduced back to where it once was, when multiples of the average employee wage was not extreme. Let the money to all employees be increased substantially using freed up capital, be they public or private sector. For those without employment, fulfil the 1947 Maslow Hierarchy of Needs using a universal approach. We can’t beat what Maslow suggested. Every person is to be valued, and each will contribute in ways that improve the community in which they live with the right investment and encouragement.

  • Article explaining the added impetus by One Fair Wage campaign to engage the industry in providing decent wages to all workers. 

One Fair Wage Wants to Help Reopen Restaurants—and Change How They Pay Workers

  • YouTube Debate by Progressive Massachusetts 

  • Not for profit schemes:

Restaurant grants based on free meals and fair wages

  • Fair wage for the population of the world

  • Jobs at high risk of infection

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Christopher Columbus Statues 

This image taken 2019. A long running sore. Now many voices call for such symbols to no longer affront the daily lives of those whose ancestors helped build America (and previous empires of the world) with their suffering.

Now statues are being torn down or desecrated because the matter has not been addressed.
June 13, 2020

NCAI Statement on the Removal of Christopher Columbus Statues

WASHINGTON, DC | The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country, does not acknowledge Christopher Columbus as a hero. To Indigenous peoples, he was the opposite:

[O]ut of timbers for the Santa Maria, . . . Columbus built a fort [on Hispaniola], the first European military base in the Western Hemisphere. . . . He took . . . Indian prisoners and put them aboard his two remaining ships. . . . [H]e got into a fight with Indians who refused to trade as many bows and arrows as he and his men wanted. Two were run through with swords and bled to death. Then the Nina and the Pinta set sail. . . . When the weather turned cold, the Indian prisoners began to die. . . .

In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale. . . .

Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States, 3-4 (1980 Ed.).

This growing movement across the country to rid our shared spaces of symbols that represent hate, genocide, and bigotry illustrates that it is past time for all cities to stand on the right side of history moving forward,” said NCAI President Fawn Sharp.

NCAI also strongly supports the recent actions taken by United States citizens and the international community calling for proper law enforcement reforms and the recognition of basic human rights for the African American community and all communities of color. We are humbled that these voices are including Indian Country’s perspectives. NCAI encourages local governments and their citizens to seek mutual understandings of their diverse perspectives and to develop peaceful solutions that are mindful of all human beings and our rich distinct and shared histories. Together we can build the tomorrow our children deserve to lead.


About the National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit


National Congress of American Indians

Embassy of Tribal Nations
National Congress of American Indians | Embassy of Tribal Nations, 1516 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

And a note in July 2020 from

“So, while there is little evidence that Trump and his supporters value human life, they do value statues, especially statues of anarchists: Confederate soldiers, slave owners, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan — a terrorist group — and Trump’s “hero,” Andrew Jackson, a leader in ethnic cleansing. “

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