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Weekly Report - 01 April 2021 (WR-21-13)

LEADER
It is too early to consign the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) to the large graveyard of integration movements in Latin America, but it is fair to say that the heady optimism that surrounded the bloc when it was formed in 1991 has well and truly faded...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
In a bid to shore up support from key sectors in Brazil, an insecure President Jair Bolsonaro carried out sweeping cabinet changes on 29 March...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
No candidate has been able to break clear in the race for Peru’s presidency...
Guillermo Lasso is back in contention to win Ecuador’s presidential elections after finishing second in the last two contests, according to a survey published this week...
Fighting has continued into a second week in the border state of Apure, with clashes between the Bolivarian armed forces (FANB) and a dissident Colombian group...
Hopes of saving 11 gold miners trapped in a flooded mine in Neira, a municipality in the central Colombian department of Caldas, were fading at the end of March...
The government led by President Iván Duque has announced its third package of tax reforms, designed to raise around US$8bn or the equivalent of 2.2% of GDP...
PERU | Congress votes to permit further early pension withdrawals...
MEXICO
The Mexican government has published new data on excess deaths, which appears to show that the number of fatalities produced by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is substantially higher than the official estimates from the federal health ministry (SSA)...
MEXICO | Ploughing ahead with energy counter reform...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
The 34th anniversary of Haiti’s constitution has proven the latest rallying point for protesters opposed to both President Jovenel Moïse’s insistence on pushing ahead with a referendum on a new magna carta and, more generally, his mandate, which his opponents maintain ended in February [WR-21-07]...
President Nayib Bukele announced this week that Gustavo Villatoro, the head of the superintendency of the financial system since July 2020, would take over as security & justice minister...
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | Emerging from the shadow of the pandemic...
POSTSCRIPT
Chile’s elections will no longer be held on 10-11 April...
“It is 30 years of history, but in this world of permanent change it is not just about something epic or romantic, buttressing the bloc is also a matter of survival.” Argentina’s foreign minister Felipe Solá presents the book ‘Mercosur: a state policy’ during an event in Buenos Aires...

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