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LatinNews Daily - 20 January 2021

Main Briefing
On 19 January, incoming US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will continue to recognise Venezuela's opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s interim president...
Andean
* Colombia’s finance ministry has reported that at the close of 2020, the national debt totalled Col$619.5trn (US$177.5bn), a new record high, equivalent to 61.4% of GDP...
Brazil
On 19 January Dimas Covas, the director of Brazilian scientific research institute Instituto Butantan, called on Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro to support negotiations with the Chinese government regarding the import of supplies needed to domestically produce doses of the CoronaVac vaccine against the coronavirus (Covid-19).  ..
* The Instituto Aço Brasil, the representative of steel producers in Brazil, has released its figures for 2020, which show national steel production totalled 31m tonnes (t) last year, a 4.9% decrease on 2019 production volumes...
Central America & Caribbean
On 19 January Spokesperson for the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Marta Hurtado, urged Haiti’s authorities to ensure that “law enforcement officers abide by international norms […] regarding the use of force when dealing with protests”...
* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a two-year arrangement for Panama under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) for US$2.7bn...
Mexico
On 19 January Mexico’s attorney general, Alejandro Gertz Manero, threatened to take international legal action against the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), accusing it of trying to frame Mexico's former defence minister, General Salvador Cienfuegos (2012-2018)...
* Mexico’s economy minister Tatiana Clouthier has unveiled a new economic reactivation plan to address the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which the federal finance ministry (SHCP) estimates caused Mexico’s GDP to contract by 8% in 2020...
Southern Cone
On 19 January, the governor of Uruguay’s northern border department of Rivera, Richard Sander, said he would present a proposal to the central government for Rivera to take part in a joint coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination campaign with Brazil...
* The Argentine government led by President Alberto Fernández has signed an agreement for the construction of 1,800 homes in the province of San Juan, on the border with Chile, which was hit on 19 January by a magnitude 6.4 earthquake...

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