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Brazil & Southern Cone - September 2019

Introduction
For the past month, the (geo)political agenda in Brazil & Southern Cone has been dominated by the unexpected results of Argentina’s party primaries (Paso) in August (which gave the opposition Peronist presidential candidate Alberto Fernández a decisive victory over incumbent President Mauricio Macri), the international fallout over President Jair Bolsonaro’s response to fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon, and the risk of impeachment narrowly avoided by Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez...
Argentina
Argentina has become the first Latin American country to designate the Islamist Shi’a militant group Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, something which has been a demand of the US and Israeli governments, as well as Argentina’s Jewish community, for years...
The next few months are threatening to be stormy for Argentina, which faces a currency meltdown, rising inflation, a partial default, and deepening recession...
Brazil
In the first few months of 2019, the Brazilian state of Roraima reportedly exported US$6.5m worth of gold to India, making the precious metal the state’s second-largest export after soya...
Inbound tourism to Brazil could be described as a goose that lays golden eggs for the wider economy...
The Brazilian government’s fiscal game plan requires it to achieve two things this year: pension and tax reform...
Chile
As of 6 August, Chile’s armed forces are authorised to work alongside the police force in the fight against drug trafficking along the country’s borders...
Paraguay
The murder of a farm manager at the hands of an armed group in the Paraguayan department of Amambay, which borders Brazil, has raised questions around the involvement of indigenous peoples in the Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP) insurgent guerrilla group...
Uruguay
At a relatively slow pace Latin America will begin to switch its mobile networks to 5G, with the new technology expected to spread in 2020-2025 to the big markets in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina...
Highlights
Another Mercosur deal: On 23 August, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro celebrated the conclusion of negotiations begun in 2017, sealing a free trade deal between the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) trade bloc, for which Brazil currently holds the pro-tempore presidency, and the European Free Trade Association (Efta), made up of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland...

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