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LatinNews Daily - 20 February 2019

Main Briefing
On 19 February, Venezuela’s de facto president, Nicolás Maduro, challenged the self-proclaimed and internationally recognised interim president, Juan Guaidó, to call a presidential election so that he can defeat him in the polls...
Andean
* Colombia’s mining & energy ministry (MinMinas) has released new figures which show that crude oil production in Colombia reached an average of 898,985 barrels a day in January, the highest level since May 2016...
Brazil
On 19 February, Brazil’s justice and public security minister, Sérgio Moro, delivered his ‘anti-crime package’ to the president of the federal chamber of deputies, Rodrigo Maia from the Democratas (Dem) party...
* US automobile manufacturer Ford has announced the cessation of production at its São Bernardo do Campo plant in the Brazilian state of São Paulo during the course of 2019, as the company has decided to exit the heavy truck business in South America...
Central America & Caribbean
On 19 February, Nicaragua’s opposition movement Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (ACJD) condemned a 216-year prison sentence handed down to opposition leader Medardo Mairena the previous day for crimes including murder, terrorism, and organised crime...
* Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela has participated in the symbolic ceremony of the first copper milling of the Cobre Panama mine in Donoso district, 200km from Panama City...
Mexico
On 19 February, Mexico’s federal chamber of deputies approved a constitutional amendment concerning preventative detention put forward by the ruling Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) party, with 377 votes in favour, 96 against, and five abstentions...
* In a press conference, Fernando López Macari, the president of Mexico’s institute of financial executives (Imef), said that recent strikes in maquila companies in Matamoros and Tamaulipas states, the blocking of railways by teachers in Michoacán state, and disruption to fuel supply which affected 14 federal entities last month and part of February will cost Mexico a decrease in 0.3 to 0.4 percentage points in GDP growth in 2019...
Southern Cone
On 19 February, large demonstrations took place in Argentina in support of abortion and against a plan by the government led by President Mauricio Macri to reduce the age of criminal responsibility...
* The US-based MSCI Inc stock market index compiler has announced that it will maintain Argentina in its Frontier Emerging Markets index despite the fact that the country was due to be reclassified as an Emerging Market pending a review this year...

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