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LatinNews Daily - 10 May 2021

Main Briefing
On 7 May Colombia’s foreign minister, Claudia Blum, sought to defuse international concerns over the repression of anti-government protests, arguing that the authorities had respected the right to protest and criticising the “vandals and violent actors” that she claimed had hijacked the demonstrations...
Andean
* Venezuela’s state-owned television network, Venezuela de Televisión, has announced that in April the national consumer protection agency (Sundde) adjusted prices in 1,429 businesses found to have breached the law on fair prices (LOPJ), which imposes price controls on food and medicines to try to contain inflation...
Brazil
On 9 May Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted praise to Rio de Janeiro state’s civil police, which was last week responsible for the deadliest operation in the state’s history...
* Brazil’s national statistics institute (Ibge) has released the latest figures on the retail sector, according to which sales dipped 0.6% in March compared with February...
Central America & Caribbean
On 7 May a group of local civil society organisations in El Salvador appealed to the Organization of American States (OAS) to convene its permanent council to “restore the constitutional order” in the country after the government-controlled legislature’s dismissal of the five judges sitting on the constitutional chamber of the supreme court (CSJ) and the attorney general, Raúl Melara...
* The executive president of the Central American development bank (BCIE), Dante Mossi, has said that the BCIE is providing US$3.5m in help to countries affected by tropical storms ‘Eta’ and ‘Iota’ which made landfall in Central America in November 2020 and mainly affected Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua...
Mexico
On 7 May Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed that his administration has sent a diplomatic protest note to the US government complaining about its financing of “opposition” NGOs in Mexico...
* Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) has reported that the national annual inflation rate reached 6.08% in April, the highest rate in the country since the end of 2017...
Southern Cone
On 7 May, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández declared that “no creditor will be given priority over the interests of Argentines”...
* Chile’s central bank (BCCH) has reported that the country posted a trade surplus of US$2.04bn in April...
Washington Watch
El Salvador: On 2 May US Secretary of State Antony Blinken phoned El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele. According to a US State Department press release, Blinken expressed “grave concern” on the part of the US government over the recent vote by El Salvador’s national legislative assembly to remove all five magistrates of the supreme court’s constitutional chamber (SC) and attorney general, Raúl Melara. Blinken noted that an “independent judiciary is essential to democratic governance” and that Melara had been “fighting corruption and impunity and is an effective partner of efforts to combat crime” in both the US and El Salvador. The vote by El Salvador’s legislature has prompted concern from other US government agencies...

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