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LatinNews Daily - 22 January 2021

Main Briefing
On 21 January, Ecuadorean presidential candidate Andrés Arauz, of the left-wing Unión por la Esperanza (Unes) coalition, insisted that if elected, he would not comply with the economic reform programme agreed between Ecuador’s current government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)...
Andean
* Peru’s state-run private investment promotion agency, Proinversión, has unveiled the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project portfolio for 2021...
Brazil
On 21 January, Brazil’s federal public prosecutor’s office (MPF) announced that it is investigating reports of fraud in the distribution of the vaccine against the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Amazonas state...
* Brazil’s Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (CNA), the logistics arms of the agriculture ministry, has announced that the country’s coffee production is expected to total between 43.8m and 49.5m sacks this year (one sack = 60kg), which would represent a 21.4% to 30.5% reduction on 2020 production levels. Conab attributes these expected lower production levels to “adverse climate conditions” and the fact that 2021 is a negative year in the biennial cycle of coffee production – wherein a year of high productivity is necessarily followed by a year with reduced production...
Central America & Caribbean
On 21 January Panamanian doctors and health care professionals reiterated complaints that front-line staff were not being prioritised when it came to receiving vaccines against the coronavirus (Covid-19)...
* The Central American bank for economic integration (BCIE) has approved a US$500m loan for Costa Rica to improve its hospital network...
Mexico
On 21 January Mexico’s deputy health minister, Hugo López-Gatell, said that none of the country’s state governments should source their own coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines, so as not to undermine the national vaccination campaign led by the federal government...
* Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) has released new figures which show that the country’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8% in December 2020 (equivalent to 2.1m people out of work), down from 4.4% in November, and 4.7% in October...
Southern Cone
On 21 January Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández held a one-hour phone conversation with the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, to discuss progress in talks to restructure the country’s outstanding US$44bn debt to the multilateral...
* Paraguay’s finance ministry has celebrated the placement of US$826m worth of sovereign bonds on the international market as its “most successful placement” with “the lowest interest rate in history” for this kind of operation...

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