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LatinNews Daily - 18 December 2020

Main Briefing
On 17 December, hundreds of protesters gathered in the town of Güiria, in Venezuela’s northern state of Sucre, to demand justice for at least 28 people who drowned while being smuggled to Trinidad and Tobago...
Andean
* Peru’s economy minister Walter Mendoza has claimed that the country’s economy is “recovering faster than expected” due to its “fiscal strength”, and noted that the fiscal deficit for 2020 now looks set to total around 8.8% of GDP, less than the 10.7% previously predicted...
Brazil
On 17 December, Brazil’s supreme court (STF) ruled that authorities in the country are allowed to impose sanctions on any individual who refuses to get vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19)...
* Brazil’s national electricity regulator (Aneel) has successfully auctioned 11 lots of power transmission lines, the Aneel’s first auction this year and the most important tender of 2020 in the government’s investments partnerships programme (PPI)...
Central America & Caribbean
On 17 December Panama’s human rights ombudsman announced an investigation into allegations of police (PN) abuse...
* Cuba’s economy minister Alejandro Gil has said that the government expects the country’s GDP to shrink by a total of 11% in 2020 as a result of the strong contraction in foreign trade and the reduction in international tourism as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Mexico
On 17 December the president of Mexico’s electoral tribunal (TEPJF), José Luis Vargas, appeared before the attorney general’s office (FGR) after being accused of corruption by the finance ministry’s financial intelligence unit (UIF)...
* A group of private sector experts consulted by Mexico’s central bank (Banxico) have slightly improved their forecast for Mexico’s GDP for 2020, from the -9.10% estimated in November up to -8.99%...
Southern Cone
On 17 December, three suspected criminals were killed in a confrontation with Paraguay’s Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta (FTC), the military-police taskforce which was set up to fight the Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP) guerrilla group...
* Argentina’s national statistics institute (Indec) has released new figures which show that national unemployment in the third quarter of 2020 totalled 11.7%...

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