Ukraine Distracts World from South American Issues

Elida Garcia observes disparities in media coverage.

Did you know that many countries in South America including Nicaragua, Peru, and Argentina are facing significant challenges? Despite the seriousness of these problems, they’re often ignored in the media because the focus is on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

One of the biggest issues in South America is poverty. Many families are struggling to make ends meet and COVID-19 has only made things worse. The high unemployment rate made many businesses close their doors, making it more difficult for people to earn a living to support their families.

There have been many protests and violence, which can be scary and disturbing in local communities. Also, environmental issues like deforestation and climate change are hurting the region’s ecosystem, which can affect the sustenance of the people who depend on the land for their survival.

Political stability is another big issue in some countries such as Nicaragua and Peru. 

In Nicaragua, there has been a repression of freedom of speech. The government has arrested and prisoned journalists who report on sensitive topics and some of them have been killed. A clear example of this is Angel Gahona, he was shot while covering protests in 2018. In addition to this, the repression of the media, there have been protests against the government that have turned violent. In April 2018, a group of protesters was killed by police during a demonstration against pension reforms. Since then, there have been many other protests and confrontations by the poli

A protestor waves the Peruvian flag in front of police.

In Peru, there have also been protests against the government, particularly when the country experienced a political crisis when two presidents were impeached. More recently in December 2021, there were protests against the injustice in the southern region because of the discrimination against Peru’s indigenous people, the police responded with force and at least 17 people died that day.

Why is it important for our school to know about these issues? Well, it’s worth noting that 48% percent of the MIT school body is Hispanic. Many of our classmates and their families may have a personal connection to these countries and the issues they’re facing. By learning about the challenges that South America is facing, we can gain a better understanding of the world and the different experiences and struggles that people are going through.

It’s important to remember that while the conflict in Ukraine and Russia is an important issue, there are many other problems facing the world that deserve our attention and support.