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LatinNews Daily - 29 January 2019

Main Briefing
On 28 January, the US government slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Pdvsa, freezing its US-based assets and proceeds from crude exports...
Andean
* Ecuador’s finance minister Richard Martínez has announced the issuance of US$1bn worth of 10-year bonds with an interest rate of 10.75%...
Brazil
On 28 January, Brazil’s federal attorney general Raquel Dodge defended holding mining giant Vale and its executives criminally liable for the collapse of a tailings dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state, last week...
* Brazil’s central bank (BCB) has released the latest balance of payment figures which show that the country’s current account deficit doubled in 2018 to a total of US$14.5bn, equivalent to 0.77% of GDP...
Central America & Caribbean
On 28 January, the centre-left Movimiento Semilla party announced that former attorney general (AG) Thelma Aldana (2014-2018) would be its presidential candidate ahead of the June 2019 general election...
* Nicaragua’s finance minister Iván Acosta has presented a new legislative initiative to reform the country’s tax legislation...
Mexico
On 28 January, Hidalgo state governor Omar Fayad said that there had been explosion at a pipeline of Mexico’s state oil company Pemex in San Agustín Tlaxiaca municipality, Hidalgo state...
* Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) has released new figures which show that the country’s trade balance of goods registered a deficit of US$13.7bn in 2018, up from US$11.0bn in 2017...
Southern Cone
On 28 January, the president of the electoral court for the Argentine province of La Rioja, Luis Brizuela, declared that the result of a public consultation held the previous day was valid, amid disputes over interpretations of the result...
* Paraguay’s largest state-owned firm Itaipú has signed agreements with the government led by President Mario Abdo Benítez to invest in promoting technology for public policies rolled out by the ministries of information technology & communication (Mitic) and health, as well as the Money Laundering Prevention Secretariat (Seprelad)...

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