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LatinNews Daily - 16 October 2020

Main Briefing
On 15 October, the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), and the Catholic Church issued a joint statement urging Bolivians to respect the authority of the country’s electoral tribunal (TSE), and to “avoid violence during and after” the 18 October general election...
Andean
* Ecuador’s national statistics institute (Inec) has reported that the country’s unemployment rate reached 6.6% in September, down from 13.3% in June, but still well above the 4.9% rate recorded in September 2019...
Brazil
On 15 October, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro sought to distance himself from Senator Chico Rodrigues, a political ally who has become embroiled in scandal after he was found to be hiding cash in his underpants during a police raid on his home. ..
* Brazil’s central bank (BCB) has released the August figures for its index of economic activity (IBC-Br), used as a proxy of GDP growth, which show that economic activity grew 1.06% in August compared with July...
Central America & Caribbean
On 15 October Nicaragua’s 92-member unicameral national legislature approved a so-called ‘foreign agents’ law’ bill, which requires organisations and individuals that receive money from international governments and institutions to register as ‘foreign agents’ with the interior ministry (Mingob)...
* Nicaragua’s finance minister, Iván Acosta, has presented the government’s 2021 budget proposal, which proposes spending of C$81.528bn (US$2.34bn), up from C$79.199bn in 2020 while income is projected to come in at C$80.67bn, down from C$80.901bn in 2020, leaving a deficit of C$857m...
Mexico
On 15 October retired Mexican general Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, who served as defence minister for the whole six-year tenure of former president Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), was arrested in the US...
* Mexico’s agricultural development bank Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relación con la Agricultura (Fira) has issued the country’s first ‘social gender bond’ for M$3bn (US$141m) on the local debt market. According to a FIRA press release, the funds raised by the bond issue will be used to benefit women in rural areas...
Southern Cone
On 15 October Paraguay’s Catholic Episcopal Conference (CEP) issued a statement denouncing the suspension of an opposition national deputy for allegedly breaking the congressional code of conduct as representing a “a break in the rule of law” and called on congress to respect the constitution...
* International credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings has lowered Chile’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) from 'A' to ‘A-‘, and its Long-Term Local-Currency IDR from ‘A+’ to 'A-'...

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