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The week at a glance...Americas

Americas

Arjona, Colombia Killed at bullfight: Two spectators were gored to death and dozens injured at a bullfight in northern Colombia this week. One man was gored through the heart, while another was tossed on a bull’s horns and then dragged around the ring. Unlike Spanish bullfights, in which a single matador in the ring faces down a bull and kills it, Colombian bullfights allow spectators to run or ride horseback around the field. The bulls are not killed, but spectator participants often are. “It is a party that is open to the people, and the people have the right to enjoy it all,” said spectator José Miguel Gutiérrez. 

Brasília, Brazil Maids are people too: Domestic workers in Brazil now have the same rights as other workers. A law passed unanimously this week gives the country’s estimated 7 million maids and cooks the right to be paid overtime if they work more than eight hours a day or 44 hours a week. Other provisions make it much more difficult for households to pay domestics under the table. “It’s the second abolition of slavery,” said union head Eliana Menezes. “We have housemaids who work 18 hours a day.” Middle-class Brazilian families have traditionally had a daily maid to do all the housework and laundry, but many have cut back in recent years as maids’ wages rose.

Rio de Janeiro No rain forest beef: Hoping to prevent Amazon deforestation, Brazilian grocery stores say they will no longer sell beef from cattle raised on land clear-cut from the rain forests. Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of beef, and an area of the Amazon larger than France has been cleared to create pastureland for cattle ranching. The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets signed an agreement to certify suppliers and reject meat from deforested regions. Critics said that compliance would likely be spotty since there is no independent body to certify the origin of beef.

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