Liliana Sanjurjo State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)

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Desirée Azevedo Centre for Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology (CAAF), Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP)

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Larissa Nadai University of São Paulo (USP), the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

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Suspect bodies
Pandemic and management of dead bodies in Brazil

This article analyses the management of bodies in Brazil within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its objective is to examine how the confluence of underreporting, inequality and alterations in the forms of classifying and managing bodies has produced a political practice that aims at the mass infection of the living and the quick disposal of the dead. We first present the factors involved in the process of underreporting of the disease and its effects on state registration and regulation of bodies. Our analysis then turns to the cemetery to problematise the dynamics through which inequality and racism are re-actualised and become central aspects of the management of the pandemic in Brazil. We will focus not only on the policies of managing bodies adopted during the pandemic but also on those associated with other historical periods, examining continuities and ruptures, as well as their relationship to long-term processes.

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