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LatinNews Daily - 17 January 2019

Main Briefing
Development: On 16 January the audit commission in Peru’s national congress approved the opening of a new investigation into the links between C y M Vizcarra (CyM), a local consultancy firm founded by President Martín Vizcarra, and Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht, which has admitted to paying millions of US dollars in bribes to government officials in Peru to secure government contracts...
Andean
* Ecuador’s national statistics agency (Inec) has released new figures which show that the national unemployment rate closed at 3.7% in December 2018, down from 4.6% in December 2017...
Brazil
Development: On 16 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro received Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri in Brasília, the first official visit of a foreign head of state since the new government took over on 1 January...
* The Brazilian government says it will appeal the European Union’s (EU) decision to curb its steel imports...
Central America & Caribbean
Development: On 16 January El Salvador’s new attorney general (AG) Raúl Melara denied links to any political party...
* El Salvador’s central bank (BCR) has released new figures which show remittance inflows to the country reached US$5.46bn in 2018, up 8.4% on 2017...
Mexico
Development: On 16 January Mexico’s 500-seat chamber of deputies voted to approve President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s constitutional reform proposal to create a new national guard...
* Mexico’s finance ministry (SHCP) has announced that it has successfully raised US$2bn from the global debt market, the first time that Mexico has issued debt since President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assumed office in December 2018...
Southern Cone
Development: On 16 January, the results of an opinion poll evaluating the performance of Uruguay’s government were released, highlighting Uruguayans’ increased dissatisfaction with the ruling Frente Amplio (FA) coalition...
* The Confederación Intercooperativa Agropecuaria Limitida (Coninagro), an Argentine agricultural producers' association, has calculated that the torrential rain and flooding that has hit Argentina’s central and north-western provinces in recent weeks will produce some US$2.2bn in economic losses to agricultural producers in the area...

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