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LatinNews Daily - 22 February 2021

Main Briefing
On 21 February Ecuador's national electoral council (CNE) declared that the second round of presidential elections in April would see Andrés Arauz, the left-wing economist endorsed by former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), face off against Guillermo Lasso, a former banker and centre-right candidate...
Andean
* Bolivia’s Asociación de Productores de Oleaginosas y Trigo de Bolivia (Anapo), the national association of oilseeds, and wheat producers, has called on agricultural producers to stage “indefinite mass blockades” of roads in the main productive areas of the eastern department of Santa Cruz...
Brazil
On 19 February, the head of Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco, was fired and a retired army general, Joaquim Silva e Luna, was appointed to replace him...
* The state government of Ceará in the northeast of Brazil has announced the launch of a 'green' hydrogen hub at the Pecém port complex (CIPP)...
Central America & Caribbean
On 21 February El Salvador’s attorney general, Raúl Melara, announced an investigation into how food packages provided by the Salvadorean government for Salvadoreans affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic ended up being distributed by a Mexican mayoral candidate in Mexico’s Tlahualilo municipality, Durango state...
* Dante Mossi, the executive president of the Central American development bank (BCIE), has hailed efforts by the multilateral institution to support Central America in its efforts to recover from the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the damage caused by hurricanes 'Eta' and 'Iota' which made landfall in November 2020...
Mexico
On 20 February the Auditoría Superior de la Federación (ASF), Mexico’s federal audit office, presented its latest audit report on federal government spending in 2019, which found M$67.49bn (US$3.3bn) in irregular spending...
* President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has issued a presidential decree stipulating new tax breaks for Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Pemex...
Southern Cone
On 19 February, Argentina’s health minister, Ginés González García, resigned following revelations that several public figures close to the government received early access to coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines...
* Paraguay’s national statistics institute (INE) has released the latest issue of its household survey (EPHC), according to which the national unemployment rate stood at 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020...
Washington Watch
Ecuador: On 14 February Acting Assistant Secretary at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung tweeted that the US government “applauds the 12 February announcement” by Ecuador’s national electoral council (CNE) to recount the votes cast for the 7 February presidential election in 17 of Ecuador’s 24 provinces...

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