By the time the coronavirus pandemic spiraled out of control in Ecuador, misinformation was already spreading on the internet with reports of corpses being thrown into the sea, bodies washing up on beaches and miracle cures aplenty.
Misinformation was already propagating in Latin America several weeks before the virus itself.
By late January, videos were being shared widely on social media purportedly showing the live animal market that was the focus of the Chinese outbreak late last year. However, the images were not of Wuhan but of Indonesia, 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) away.
Then conspiracy theorists across Latin America accused Bill Gates and US scientists of being behind the coronavirus outbreak.
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