Blog: South America


I felt this article to be relevant due to everything going on right no in the world. After a single elderly man returned from a trip to Italy and was confirmed to have Covid-19, Brazil instantly ent on heavier security of who can enter their borders and the protocols around it. This is important Geographically, because it shows   how many different places all over the world are treating this and their defense against the spread and the outbreak.

To avoid talking about a certain pandemic that is all over the news around the world right now, I have found an article related to the Amazon River and how it might disappear in the upcoming future.

Article Link:

In the article, "Distant Source of Amazon Is Evaporating Away", published Oct. 4, 2019, the glaciers that cover the Mismi which is a 18,465 foot mountain are melting away. These glaciers within the Andes mountain ranges are an important water source for Peru's inhabitants and even more important for Peru's subsistence farmers that reside in remote mountain communities. According to a glaciologist, Lumzmila Davila,

"...Peru has now lost just over 53% of its original glacier cover, or 1,285 square kilometers of the original 2,399 square kilometers, since 1962, a period roughly equivalent to when industrial greenhouse gas emissions first began ramping up."

The cause to blame for the glaciers melting are being pointed towards the burning of fossil fuels from industries but more interestingly partial blame is being put on sheep and cattle which are being raised in the high plain communities by farmers. An certain breed of cattle is being blamed for harming the ecosystem within the high plains of Peru, as unlike the native farm animals of llamas, alpacas, and vicuña, the hooves of these cattle are damaging the soil which in turn is making it difficult for the plant life to regrow. The method of how the foreign cow eats is also to blame as it is known for ripping the roots from the grass unlike the South American camelid species which are only chewing the tips of the grass.

As the glaciers are expected to evaporate away within a year, the people of South America are seeing this as a bad omen for the future.

Brazil’s densely packed favelas brace for coronavirus: ‘It will kill a lot of people.’

Brazil's favelas are extremely dense with people, making the common practice supported in the US, social distancing, not possible to combat the spread of COVID-19. Experts are not able to provide a solution so much as determine that many many people who live in these portions of the country will die. Population Density is a concept that is greatly at play here, as social distancing relies on a fairly average population density, and in a place such as a favela, population density is extremely high. At this time, it's not a matter of how badly the nearly one fourth of Brazil's population that lives in favelas will be hit, it's a matter of when.

My article is summarized pretty well in the title. Amazon Rainforest Sees Biggest Spike In Deforestation In Over A Decade. Colin Dwyer with NPR wrote this article describing the largest amount of deforestation, in the Amazon Rainforest, since 2008. Brazil has an Environmental Minister, Ricardo Salles, who stated that the cause of the increase was due to illegal mining and logging which they were trying to find ways to stop.

Dwyer went on to say that due to recent changes in presidency, it was believed that budget cuts to environmental agencies has also supported this illegal logging and mining since there is no funding to monitor and stop these crimes. Even worse, when this has been brought to Brazil’s President he responds poorly, implying that he is being personally attacked. It was stated that France's President offered the country 22 million dollars to help fight these fires and it was refused.



Some clear geographic concepts used in this article were:

deforestation, cause of a change in geography

rainforest, describing the physical feature of this location

metropolis, an area making up the geography of a location, in this example used to compare how large of an area is being destroyed

economic growth, relating to the development of other areas of Brazil's economy as a justification for the president to not protect these lands


indigenous leaders, relating to the territory and cultural history being destroyed.

This article is titled "Chilean man crashes truck into sacred Easter island stone statue sparks furor" and it's pretty self explanatory. A man completely destroyed a 1000 year old statue by running it over with his truck, click the link if you want to see the photo. While the article is brief, I did learn something. Easter Island is technically part of South America because it is a territory of Chile, but historically and culturally it is Polynesian. The island's traditional name is Rapa Nui which is the same name of the tribe of Polynesians that settled there. The statues are called Maoi and were made by the Rapa Nui that settled on the island about a thousand years ago. The Maoi are sacred and represent the spirits of passed on ancestors. I'm glad this guy is going to jail. So sad and disrespectful to ruin these beautiful ancient statues.

Rebecka Bowlus
Blog South America

Article link:

Article title:
They say they’re firefighters. Police say they’re arsonists. The battle for truth reaches the Amazon.

Summary of article:
In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro and his government are claiming that a group of volunteer firefighters were responsible for setting many of the fires which destroyed 3,500 sq mi of the Amazon rainforest and biome in a massive, international conspiracy to make him appear incompetent orchestrated by NGOs, France, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The article lays out the complex web motivations on part of the government and of the accused.

Geographic concepts:
The accused volunteer fire crew was located in the community Alter do Chao in the State of Para within Brazil. It lays at the confluence of the Amazon River and the Tapajos River which is a major tributary to the Amazon River. The Amazon biome consists largely of lowland plains surrounded by the Andes Mountains to the west, the Brazilian Highlands to the south, and the Guiana Highlands the north. This funnels all rainfall, snow and glacial melt in one direction. The extensive Amazon drainage system covers 50% of Brazil, 16% of Peru and is in 7 additional countries.

Winter is coming: cooler South America weather could fan coronavirus spread

- brief summary of the article

With summer months drawing to a close in Brazil, this article focuses on the potential of increased spread of this disease.   Though little is know of the seasons effects on this particular outbreak, data from past out breaks outline the increased numbers of transmissions in past epidemics such as the H1N1 (Swine Flu).

- brief explanation of the geographic concepts involved in the story

This is linked to geography because since Brazil is located in the southern hemisphere they are just entering the winter months, as we enter our summer.   Due to the colder whether to come, it is suspected that increased nasal irritation will cause people to be more susceptible of catching this condition.   Now though it is not mentioned in the article, but tying this to what we have learned in class, with tightly packed areas such as the favelas down there, increasing the ease of transmission could prove devastating to those in high risk categories.   This is an example that though set in Brazil is not unique to this area, and more ties geography to epidemiology.

As everyone knows by now, the coronavirus has been announced a pandemic. It is spreading wildly across the world. South America has been hit with the coronavirus as well as everywhere else in the world. There have been a total of 2,041 cases in South America. There 10 reported recoveries and 19 reported recoveries. All 12 of the countries in South America have been affected by this virus. Brazil has the most cases of the virus due to Brazil being so big. Brazil has 651 confirmed cases. The virus is in the middle of brazil and will most likely spread throughout the entire country. Suriname has the least number of cases. Suriname has 4 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. The larger countries are the places that have the most cases due to the populations. Most of the cases arrived in South America in late February and the beginning of March. The treatment is either self-care or medical treatment. There is a vaccine that is being created to reduce the number of people that get affected by the coronavirus.

Chicken from UK supermarkets and fast-food chains ‘fueling mass forest loss in South America’

 This article is about the mass production of these soya that is being used to feed the chicken in the UK and the rest of the world. Deforestation is happening due to the growing number of poultry around the world.

The forests are being torn down each year causing the worlds most biodiverse savannah to fall apart. Many of these forests help cut back greenhouse gases and climate changes. This changes where animal may live or they many die off. This could cause dramatic changes to the people’s environment.

This article is from "International Policy Digest" and it is on South America is Facing Unrelenting Crisis and Uncertainty - 2018.

In this article, it talks about South America experiencing the most difficult periods, as Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela succumb to social, economic and political turmoil. Halfway through the first decade of this country, these three countries enjoyed economics and social stability, creating a prosperous time in the region, but everything changed after 2011 when the countries began to experience what we see today as a regional crisis.

South America received one if its biggest blows when Brazil, which represents roughly 34% of the Latin American economy. Brazil's economic effects in times of crisis spread like tentacles across the region affecting the development, production, and the growth of other countries. - For example, Argentina. They experienced a slow down in growth of exports and production. especially in the car industry during the 2015-17 period. Argentina is yet to face increasing social unrest as austerity measures kick in and civilians begin to feel rising inflation, which is expected to reach 45% by end of the year.

Venezuela's situation is expected to continue in a downward spiral as the government failed to stop rampant inflation, projected by the IMF at 1 million percent and the decline of the Venezuelan economy. Venezuela has plunged into the worse crisis in history purchasing power declines at daily rates and the economy registers double-digit contractions. The Venezuelan government introduced new mechanisms to deal with the economic crisis in August, however, they are futile as the country continues to plummet into the economic crisis. The future Venezuelan remains as dim as the country's oil and h=gas industry, which represents 90% of its exports.

South America is expected to continue facing economic and social unrest as long as these three countries are not able to to solve their internal problems. South America's economic dynamics have reached a level of interconnectedness that spreads not only economic decline, but also stagnation. The future of South America will remain gloomy until the new government of Brazil takes power and Argentina is able to resolve its political drama and economic debacle, especially considering that their GDP will contract by 0.5% by 2019. On the other hand, Venezuela remains the most negative scenario with very few options left for their economic revival of the country .


This article was in South America. It also includes Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela for the geographic concepts.