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LatinNews Daily - 27 May 2020

Main Briefing
On 26 May, a joint statement issued by US-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights (CPHHR) at John Hopkins University urged the United Nations (UN) to lead a co-operative international effort to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela...
Andean
* Bolivia’s comptroller general’s office has announced that it will conduct an audit into all purchases made “within the framework of the Covid-19 [coronavirus] pandemic” at all levels of government, following an ongoing political scandal regarding the purchase of 170 ventilators at a greatly inflated price (US$27,683 per unit, well beyond the US$8,756 quoted by the manufacturers), which saw health minister Marcelo Navajas put in preventative detention pending trial for three months on 24 May...
Brazil
On 26 May, Brazil’s federal police (PF) raided the official residence of Rio de Janeiro state governor Wilson Witzel, as well as other properties linked to him, as part of an investigation into the embezzlement of public funds destined to fight the coronavirus (Covid-19). ..
* Brazil’s central bank (BCB) has released the latest figures for the balance of payments in the external sector, which show that foreign investment in Brazil totalled US$234m in April...
Central America & Caribbean
On 26 May opposition leader Chandrikapersad Santokhi predicted victory for his political party Vooruitstrevende Hervormings Partij (VHP) in Suriname’s 25 May general election...
* Panama’s health ministry has announced that the second phase of the gradual easing of containment measures implemented to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) will begin on 1 June...
Mexico
On 26 May Mexico’s federal interior ministry (Segob) rejected a proposal for state governments to come up with their own mechanisms for the lifting of restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) and called for all states to adhere to the plan set out by the federal government...
* Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) has released new figures which show that the country’s GDP contracted by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, according to original (non seasonally-adjusted) figures...
Southern Cone
On 26 May, Daniel Menéndez, an official at Argentina’s federal social development ministry, joined social organisations in criticising the Buenos Aires provincial government’s decision to seal off the Villa Azul slum where coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading quickly...
* Chile’s finance ministry has said that President Sebastián Piñera’s government will consider if and how it can contribute to the “success” of the reorganisation process of Latam Airlines Group, after the Chile-based airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US yesterday (26 May)...

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