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LatinNews Daily - 21 January 2021

Main Briefing
On 20 January Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, hailed the decision by the newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden to order the cancellation of the erection of a border wall; and to send a comprehensive immigration reform bill to the US Congress...
Andean
On 20 January, Israel Ramírez Pineda (‘Pablo Beltrán’), the spokesperson for the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) guerrilla group, insisted that the group had maintained “indirect and confidential” contact with the Colombian government, pushing for renewed peace talks...
* Bolivia’s President Luis Arce has submitted a bill to the legislative assembly which would allow individuals to make withdrawals from pension funds, a measure intended to support those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, but also to help reactivate the economy by boosting domestic consumption...
Brazil
On 20 January, Brazil’s foreign minister, Ernesto Araújo, assured federal deputies that there is “no problem of a political nature” between Brazil and China and that the delay in the shipping from China of active ingredients needed for Brazil to produce vaccines against the coronavirus (Covid-19) is merely due to supply issues.  ..
* The Confederação Nacional de Bens, Servicos, e Turismo (CNC), Brazil’s tourism and commerce industry association, has released the January issue of its retail businesses confidence Index (Icec), which shows that confidence amongst retailers is dipping...
Central America & Caribbean
On 20 January Nicaraguan opposition figures such as Armando Herrera (Coalición Nacional) and Alexa Zamora (Unidad Nacional Azul y Blanco) publicly called on the new US administration led by President Joe Biden to maintain the policies of his predecessor with regard to Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega...
* The Dominican Republic’s central bank (BCRD) has released a new report which shows that 2.4m tourists (defined as foreign nationals and non-resident Dominicans) visited the country via air travel in 2020, a 62.7% drop on 2019...
Mexico
* The Mexican peso has appreciated against the US dollar, trading at M$19.60/US$1 on 20 January, down from M$19.67/US$1 the previous day...
Southern Cone
On 20 January, the Argentine government led by President Alberto Fernández issued a decree partially regulating a law on remote working, which was approved by congress in July 2020...
* Argentina has closed 2020 with a primary fiscal deficit of Ar$1.75trn (US$20.3bn), equivalent to 6.5% of GDP and a financial deficit of Ar$2.29trn (8.5% of GDP) according to new economy ministry figures...

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