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Weekly Report - 13 May 2021 (WR-21-19)

LEADER
With over 42 dead and higher numbers listed as missing as a result of three weeks of protests and violence that have convulsed Colombia, both sides are now trying to initiate a dialogue...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
After a bruising stint on the political sidelines, on 11 May Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó announced a significant change of approach...
Ecuador’s president elect Guillermo Lasso has revealed further details on his ministerial cabinet, naming Simón Cueva Armijos as economy and finance minister and Fernando Danoso Morán as defence minister...
The freight train that rolled into La Paz on 11 May from the Chilean port city of Arica was the first to traverse that route since 2005 and symbolised hopes of an improvement in the historically poor relations between Bolivia and Chile...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
A police operation in Jacarezinho, a favela in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro city, left 28 dead last week...
In April 2020, Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles was filmed during a ministerial meeting saying that the distraction caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic should be used to “plough through” with environmental deregulation...
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández set off on a new European tour this week seeking to garner international support for his government’s proposals to renegotiate Argentina’s debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club of creditor nations...
MEXICO
Just hours before a virtual meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that his government had sent a formal note of protest to the US administration led by President Joe Biden, accusing it of interfering in Mexico’s domestic political affairs...
The decision by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to send a formal note of protest to the US government for alleged unwarranted interference in Mexico’s sovereign affairs is not the only potential source of bilateral tensions...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
The repercussions of the opening act of El Salvador’s new legislative assembly, dominated by President Nayib Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas (NI), to dismiss the entire constitutional chamber of the supreme court (CSJ) and the attorney general may well be felt for years to come but developments in the coming days will say a lot about how far the US government is prepared to go to ‘discipline’ a wayward ally...
A deadline for Nicaragua’s disparate opposition coalitions to forge an electoral alliance ahead of the general election on 7 November came and went this week...
GUATEMALA | Corruption and nepotism...
POSTSCRIPT
In little over a week Pedro Castillo’s opinion poll lead over Keiko Fujimori in the race for the second-round presidential ballot in Peru on 6 June has narrowed from a comfortable 10 percentage points to a narrow margin of only two points...
“If a constitutional chamber serves the executive or legislative branch it would not only end constitutional guarantees but also the Republic and the democratic system...

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