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Weekly Report - 23 April 2020 (WR-20-16)

LEADER
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been compared more than once in recent days to the captain of the Titanic, as he sails through the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic with an overt disregard for the risks the disease represents to the life and wellbeing of the population he was elected to lead...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
The government led by President Alberto Fernández has presented a formal debt restructuring offer to holders of Argentine sovereign bonds issued under international law...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
The government led by President Lenín Moreno was granted some breathing space on 17 April when bondholders accepted an appeal to defer interest payments on debt maturing between 2022 and 2030...
President Iván Duque is locked in a power clash with Colombia’s most powerful mayors...
While Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra has voiced optimism that the country’s general elections scheduled for April 2021 will not be unduly affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the fate of the party primaries, due to be held later this year, remains unclear...
Plummeting global oil prices have added another layer of pressure to Venezuela’s political deadlock, as the economic drama of 20 April brought outspoken declarations from both Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó, and was followed within 24 hours by disputed media reports of clandestine negotiations, hoping to secure an escape route from the country’s crisis...
Even in the midst of a pandemic, with the elections scheduled for 3 May still indefinitely suspended, there appears to be no issue of political significance in Bolivia that does not descend immediately into partisan rivalry...
MEXICO
An amnesty law took effect in Mexico on 23 April after approval by the senate and promulgation by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador...
Mexico’s finance ministry finally tabled a bigger economic package to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on 22 April...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
President Nayib Bukele’s refusal on three occasions to heed rulings by the constitutional chamber (SC) of the supreme court (CSJ) relating to the detention of individuals in the framework of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is attracting mounting international condemnation...
Last month the international anti-corruption NGO Transparency International (TI) warned about “serious corruption risks in the region’s emergency response” to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, singling out the public procurement system...
The Nicaraguan government’s recent announcement that students of all levels would return to class, following an extended Easter break, is at odds with more stringent strategies pursued by the rest of Central America to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations...
POSTSCRIPT
An unprecedented slump in oil prices, which tipped into negative territory for the first time in history on 20 April in the US over storage concerns, poses a huge challenge to Latin America’s oil-producing nations, especially Venezuela and Ecuador, as well as Colombia...
“The entire world is united against the coronavirus...

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