SANTIAGO/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – In the usually bustling streets of the downtown Santiago this week, Chilean great-grandmother Luz Maria Rios was ignoring a coronavirus quarantine and risking her health to sell Easter eggs.
FILE PHOTO: A stall with security elements is seen in the street market, during a preventive quarantine after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Santiago, Chile April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Pablo Sanhueza
For hours, she saw no customers. “I’ll sell what God wants,” the 76-year-old said with a shrug, gazing down the almost empty pavement.
It is a scene repeated across Latin America where street vendors defy widespread quarantines to try to eke out a living in almost empty cityscapes.
The pandemic, which has tallied more than 1.5 million infections globally and more than 89,000 deaths, is entering its second month ravaging Latin America, claiming more than 1,300 lives in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Chile alone.
More than half of those employed in…
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