‘Enormous disparities’: coronavirus death rates expose Brazil’s deep racial inequalities
Poverty, poor access to health services and overcrowding all play a part in disproportionate number of deaths, say researchers. Photography by Nicoló Lanfranchi
Marcos dos Santos Jr has counted 13 deaths from Covid-19 among Brazilian families he is close to in São João de Meriti, a satellite town of Rio de Janeiro. Like him, they were black, and therefore proportionally more likely to be killed by the pandemic in Latin America’s biggest country.
All but one of the victims came from families helped by the Inclusion Project, which Dos Santos, 43, and his wife Élida, 40, launched in 2014 to educate teenagers away from drugs and crime. It now helps to feed poorer families who lost jobs or income as shops and businesses across Rio state closed for quarantine.