The deindustrialisation of Brazil and COVID-19

Brazil could see ‘centuries of vassalage’ as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, argues PhD candidate Natasha Ruiz.

Date: 17 April 2020

London Met PhD candidate, Natasha Ruiz, a privacy and cybersecurity researcher within the School of Computing and Digital Media, has commented on the current deindustrialisation of Brazil, her native country, and discusses how the country may or may not survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her thoughts have been published by Science Mag, one of the biggest scientific magazines in the world.

Natasha said: “Brazil has decided to focus on being a provider of foods, exporting water to the world. The country is one of the biggest world producers of grains, and yet they do not produce a single tractor. The native and nutritious seeds are being replaced for transgenic ones, devoid of nutrients and taste.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, a steel curtain as strong as the one from the Soviet era has been lowered, splitting the nations, breaking the global supply chains and isolating entire countries. The prediction of the economists is of successive recessions around the world. 

“The nation that has a variety of options, merging agriculture, industries and services, resembles a species capable of surviving the great extinctions. Completely dependent on the industrialised world, if Brazil gets put in quarantine like Italy, what should we expect? If extinction itself isn't near, it seems like we will still see centuries of vassalage.”

Natasha’s research focuses on malware and antiviruses; web browsing; and bio-inspiration for cyber autoimmune disease.

She added: “It is very rare for Brazilians to have their texts on science and nature published. It has been even more difficult for me to be published as I am transgender, and prejudice against women and trans women is common in Brazil.

“The Ministry of Science and Technology of Brazil, where I work, have refused to publicise the letter. Before my transition, my works were published nationally by the same Ministry. This censorship may be gender-based retaliation, or worse, political retaliation for the content of the text.”

Selfie of Natasha Ruiz