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Widows of COVID-19 victims pay homage in Brazil

Dozens of widows who lost their partners to COVID-19 gathered in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo Tuesday to commemorate the "Day of the Dead" and pay homage to their loved ones. In Rio the gathering featured a procession of mourners, who walked through the main avenue in the downtown area of the city. The group later released black balloons symbolizing the departed. The event was organized by the group 'COVID-19 Widows,' but was also attended by others who have lost family members. "I try to transform my pain into fighting, because I understand that besides me there are many other women, many other relatives suffering, especially here in our country, there was no effective action (from the government)," said Vera Lúcia Aragão, a 52-year-old COVID-19 widow. Aragão lost her 74 year old mother, Josefa Barbosa, in December 2020 and her 50 year old husband, Vinicius Aragão, less than a month later from COVID-19. The group 'COVID-19 Widows' also fights for pension rights for widows and orphans, as many relied financially on the victim and are facing legal issues in order to receive any indemnity. The ceremony in Sao Paulo brought mourners together in Independencia Park, placing white flags in the grass and paying tribute to their lost family members. In recent days, the Brazilian Senate committee recommended criminal indictments for President Jair Bolsonaro over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 600,000 people have died in Brazil due to COVID-19.