Reporting from journalist Guillermo Galdos
Deep in the heart of Peru’s central Amazon, the indigenous Shipibo people have for thousands of years lived off the land, thrived as healers, and defended their territory against loggers and other foreign invaders that threatened their very existence.
But they have a powerful new foe that shows little mercy: Covid-19.
In the remote Shipibo village of Caimito, 80 percent of the community has shown symptoms of coronavirus, according to local nurse Elias Magin. The nearest hospital is an eight-hour boat ride away.
When we arrived in late May, a line of people snaked around a simple building with a makeshift sign declaring it the Puesto de Salud, or health clinic, for Caimito. It was only 10am and those who could walk were patiently waiting to get medical attention.
“In the past three days, we have run out of the medicine the government gave us,” Magin told us. “The only medicine we have left is for other conditions. I don’t even have any paracetamol.”
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