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Weekly Report - 13 February 2020 (WR-20-06)

Leader
The image of heavily armed soldiers stationed inside and outside El Salvador’s legislative assembly on 9 February had a chilling effect on democrats across the region and beyond...
Andean Countries
Diego García-Sayán, the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, voiced concern on 6 February over “the use of judicial and fiscal institutions for the purpose of political persecution” in Bolivia...
Juan Guaidó returned to Venezuela on 11 February...
Colombia’s President Iván Duque has faced no shortage of challenges in recent months - but even by these tumultuous standards the past week has been particularly gruelling, with two ongoing struggles reaching a simultaneous crescendo...
Just as Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra was looking to accelerate his anti-corruption political and judicial reform agenda with a new congress, his energy and mines minister, Juan Carlos Liu, suddenly resigned in a scandal involving the disgraced Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht...
Brazil & Southern Cone
Argentina’s economy & finance minister, Martín Guzmán, appeared before the federal lower chamber of congress on 12 February to outline the government’s planned debt renegotiation with external creditors...
Chile’s interior minister, Gonzalo Blumel, launched a blistering attack on the political opposition this week after the governor of the metropolitan region of Santiago, Felipe Guevara, narrowly survived an impeachment motion in congress for his handling of popular protests since the outbreak of social unrest last October...
The announced creation of a ‘council of the Amazon’ in late January spurred hopes that President Jair Bolsonaro’s government might finally be beginning to address concerns surrounding the conservation of the Brazilian Amazon...
Adriano Magalhães da Nóbrega, a suspected leader of a Rio de Janeiro-based death squad linked to paramilitary ‘milícia’ groups, was killed during a police operation on 9 February in Brazil’s north-eastern state of Bahia...
Mexico
As part of plans to improve the provision of justice in Mexico, Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero has proposed eliminating the crime of ‘femicide’ (the murder of females on account of their gender) from the federal penal code...
Central America & Caribbean
Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo last week was forced to replace his security and interior ministers, Rolando Mirones and Carlos Romero – the first cabinet members to step down since the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) government took office in July 2019...
Honduras’s first observatory of anti-corruption criminal policy (OPCA) was launched last week...
“A first step in restoring press freedom”...
Postscript
“A worrying trend of increasing repression against political dissidents in Cuba.” This was the response of the European Parliament (EP) on 6 February to the detention of prominent Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas, a recipient of the EP’s 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought...
“Among the new ideas to negotiate a loan is the use of the army...

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