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Joy is short-lived in the house of the poor
  1. Fernando Rodríguez-Artalejo1,2,
  2. Esther García-Esquinas1
  1. 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid-School of Medicine and IdiPaz and CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain
  2. 2IMDEA Food, CEI UAM+CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fernando Rodríguez-Artalejo, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain; fernando.artalejo{at}

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Colombia and other Latin American countries traditionally had some of the largest socioeconomic inequalities in the world. However, inequalities were substantially reduced in Colombia since the beginning of the 21st century thanks to the peace agreements with the guerrillas and some economic prosperity, which resulted in poverty being reduced by more than half in just 20 years. Many people got decent jobs and housing, and their children accessed university education.1 However, as the Spanish saying goes, the joy in the house of the poor was short-lived.

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to return Colombia and other Latin American countries to the situation of 20 years ago.2 The pandemic has resulted in huge job losses and closure of small businesses, especially affecting those with manual or low-skilled jobs that must be performed in person. Many of these workers and their families have been evicted and have had to move to lower socioeconomic neighbourhoods and even …

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  • Contributors The two authors contributed to making this piece.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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