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LatinNews Daily - 04 February 2021

Main Briefing
On 3 February the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern about reforms to the criminal procedural code approved the previous day by Nicaragua’s legislature...
Andean
On 3 February, Colombia’s President Iván Duque unveiled a new plan to improve protections for social leaders targeted by violence, facilitating co-operation between political, judicial, and military institutions...
* Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno has announced that 570,000 families will receive an emergency subsidy worth US$500 by the end of March, to support those affected by growing unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Brazil
On 3 February, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro took part in a ceremony in the federal congress marking the start of the new legislative year, alongside the newly elected presidents of the senate and the chamber of deputies, Rodrigo Pacheco and Arthur Lira...
* Brazil’s economy and foreign ministries have issued a joint statement in which they announce that the country has presented its initial market access offer to the members of the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) in the World Trade Organization (WTO), thus formalising its application process to the GPA...
Central America & Caribbean
* International credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings has downgraded Panama's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) from 'BBB' to 'BBB-'. According to a Fitch press release, the downgrade “reflects the severe weakening of public finances due to the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus [Covid-19] pandemic”...
Mexico
On 3 February Mexico’s supreme court (SCJN) ruled that aspects of the electricity market regulations published by the energy ministry (Sener) are unconstitutional...
* Mexico’s finance ministry (SHCP) has placed US$822m worth of bonds on the local debt market, the first placement of the new ‘Udibonos’ benchmark bond, which according to the SHCP is intended to “provide depth to the market, contribute to the process of price discovery, and favour a wide and diversified distribution of the holding of instruments between local and foreign investors”...
Southern Cone
On 3 February, Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou said that there is “fertile ground” to relax the rules of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) regarding trade negotiations, after discussing the issue with his Brazilian peer, Jair Bolsonaro...
* The head of Paraguay’s social security institute (IPS), Andrés Gubetich, has announced that next week the government will pay out more subsidies to formal workers whose jobs were suspended as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...

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