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LatinNews Daily - 29 January 2021

Main Briefing
On 28 January, human rights NGO Amnesty International (AI) warned that Peru’s deployment of military forces to block the passage of migrants across the border from Ecuador “sets a disastrous precedent”, and “represents a serious risk to human rights”...
Andean
* Bolivia’s legislative assembly has voted to approve a US$350m loan from the Latin American Development Bank (CAF), intended to support the country’s response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Brazil
On 28 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro once again rejected social distancing and lockdown measures as an effective way of containing the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), saying that “the Brazilian people are strong, the Brazilian people are not scared of danger”...
* Brazil’s economy ministry has released the latest figures from the national employment registry (Caged), which show that a net 142,690 formal jobs were created in 2020, despite big job losses recorded in March-April with the onset of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Central America & Caribbean
On 28 January the ‘G-13’ group of donors to Guatemala (which includes the US, Canada, several members of the European Union, and multilateral organisations including the Organization of American States and the United Nations) issued a statement underlining the need for transparency in the process of selecting “suitable candidates” for the constitutional court (CC)...
* El Salvador’s finance minister, Alejandro Zelaya, and the representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in El Salvador, César Falconi, have announced a US$45m loan from the IDB to strengthen the local coffee sector...
Mexico
On 28 January Mexico’s coronavirus czar, Hugo López-Gatell, sought to dispel speculation about the health of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador by maintaining that the head of state was “practically asymptomatic” five days after announcing that he had contracted Covid-19...
* Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) has released the latest figures on Mexico’s trade balance which show that the country posted a US$34.48bn trade surplus in 2020, compared with US$5.4bn in 2019...
Southern Cone
On 28 January Efraín Alegre, the president of the Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico (PLRA), Paraguay’s main opposition political party, voluntarily turned himself in to the authorities after a judge issued an arrest warrant against him...
* Chile’s state copper commission (Cochilco) has revised its forecasts for copper prices this year, now projecting that the price of copper – Chile’s largest export – will average US$3.30 per pound (lb) in 2021, up from earlier projections of US$2.90/lb...

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