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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group

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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 03 April 2020

On 2 April, Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno acknowledged that the official figures on coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths are significantly understating the extent of the country’s health emergency and admitted that his government has been unable to cope with the severity of this “crisis”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 02 April 2020

On 1 April, Venezuela’s de facto president Nicolás Maduro condemned the deployment of US counter-drug trafficking forces off the coast of Venezuela as an attempt to threaten military action against his government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 01 April 2020

On 31 March US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo presented a ‘Framework for a Peaceful Democratic Transition in Venezuela’, in which both claimants to the country's presidency – de facto president Nicolás Maduro and US-recognised challenger Juan Guaidó - would step aside to allow a new council of state to preside over presidential elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 31 March 2020

On 30 March, Colombia’s high commissioner for peace, Miguel Ceballos, confirmed that the government led by President Iván Duque would not join the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) guerrilla group in declaring a ceasefire, stating that the ELN’s commitment “is not enough” to secure renewed peace negotiations.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 30 March 2020

On 28 March, Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognised as interim president by over 50 countries, called for the formation of a “national emergency government” to tackle the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 27 March 2020

On 26 March, US Attorney General William Barr issued charges of “narco-terrorism” against Venezuela’s de facto president, Nicolás Maduro, and other leading government officials, offering a US$15m reward for information leading to Maduro’s arrest.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 26 March 2020

On 25 March, Venezuela’s de facto president, Nicolás Maduro, called for a dialogue with the political opposition, in order to prepare a co-operative response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 25 March 2020

On 24 March, the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called for a suspension of international economic sanctions on Venezuela, to enable its struggling healthcare system to fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 24 March 2020

On 23 March, Ecuador’s economy & finance minister Richard Martínez reported that the government is working to secure US$2bn in international loans, to enable the country to continue repaying its external debtors.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 23 March 2020

On 21 March, Bolivia’s electoral tribunal (TSE) announced that it had suspended the electoral calendar ahead of the general election scheduled for 3 May, in response to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 20 March 2020

On 19 March, Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognised as interim president by more than 50 countries, appealed for financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 19 March 2020

On 18 March, Colombia’s defence minister, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, confirmed that the armed forces and police will continue all operations throughout the country, despite the declaration of a state of emergency over the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 18 March 2020

On 17 March, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rejected a request by Venezuela’s de facto government led by Nicolás Maduro for US$5bn in funding to help tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 17 March 2020

On 16 March, Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno declared a national state of emergency in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 16 March 2020

On 13 March, Colombia’s President Iván Duque announced that he had decided to close the country’s 2,219km border with Venezuela, in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 13 March 2020

On 12 March, Venezuela’s de facto president, Nicolás Maduro, declared a national health emergency in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and appealed for the US to lift the economic sanctions against the country for reasons of public health.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 12 March 2020

On 11 March, Ecuador’s economy minister, Richard Martínez, presented to the national assembly (AN) the government’s latest package of economic measures, intended to tackle the country’s deepening economic crisis.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 11 March 2020

On 10 March, a major opposition demonstration in Caracas was blocked by Venezuela’s state security forces and dispersed with tear gas.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 10 March 2020

On 9 March, Colombian Deputy Fabián Díaz Plata appealed for a new investigation into alleged vote-buying by President Iván Duque, in light of recent evidence linking the president to suspected drug trafficker, José Guillermo ‘Ñeñe’ Hernández.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 09 March 2020

On 8 March, Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Áñez confirmed that defence minister Fernando López will remain in his post, despite a vote of censure against him in the legislature.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 06 March 2020

On 5 March, a special session of the Bolivian senate, held in the city of El Alto, had to be abandoned after widespread protests against the interim government were suppressed with tear gas.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 05 March 2020

On 4 March, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst told the UN Human Rights Council that the Colombian government is still not doing enough to protect social leaders from violence.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 04 March 2020

On 3 March, the president of Peru’s Prime Minister Vicente Zeballos confirmed that he would seek “extended explanations” from the two latest government ministers to face corruption allegations.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 03 March 2020

On 2 March, Colombia’s President Iván Duque met with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 02 March 2020

On 29 February, at least six people were injured in the city of Barquisimeto, Lara state, during an armed attack on a demonstration led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognised as Venezuela’s interim president by over 50 countries.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 28 February 2020

On 27 February, Colombia’s President Iván Duque condemned a report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the country’s security crisis as “an interference in sovereignty”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 27 February 2020

On 26 February, vice-presidential candidate Marco Pumari (Creemos) had to be evacuated by the police after protesters gathered outside his campaign launch event ahead of Bolivia's 3 May general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 26 February 2020

On 25 February, the president of the Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común (Farc) political party, Rodrigo Londoño (‘Timochenko’), called for Colombia’s President Iván Duque to “stop the genocide” of social leaders and former Farc guerrillas.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 25 February 2020

On 24 February, Colombia’s attorney general Francisco Barbosa confirmed that President Iván Duque will be investigated for electoral fraud and corruption, following former legislator Aída Merlano’s allegations of his involvement in an illicit vote-buying network.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 24 February 2020

On 21 February, Colombia’s President Iván Duque celebrated the arrest of José Albeiro ‘Contador’ Arrigui , describing him as “one of the most feared” drug traffickers in Colombia.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 21 February 2020

Not since Lucio Gutiérrez (2003-2005) met George W Bush on 11 February 2003 had an Ecuadorean president been invited to the White House.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 20 February 2020

On 19 February, Venezuela’s de facto president, Nicolás Maduro, declared a national “energy emergency” and outlined plans to restructure the country’s oil sector.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 19 February 2020

On 18 February, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) announced sanctions against Rosneft Trading, a subsidiary of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft for maintaining business dealings with Venezuela's de facto goverment led by Nicolás Maduro.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 18 February 2020

From LatinNews Daily
- BOLIVIA: MAS candidacies face legal challenges
On 17 February, Bolivia’s electoral tribunal (TSE) announced that 13 electoral candidates will face further scrutiny before they can be approved, including Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) presidential candidate Luis Arce, and former president Evo Morales (2006-2019).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 17 February 2020

On 14 February, the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) guerrilla group launched a 72-hour ‘armed strike’, disrupting the movement of people and goods in regions across Colombia.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 14 February 2020

Diego García-Sayán, the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, voiced concern on 6 February over “the use of judicial and fiscal institutions for the purpose of political persecution” in Bolivia.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 13 February 2020

On 12 February, Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno met with US President Donald Trump at the White House, where discussions centred on a potential trade agreement between the two countries.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 12 February 2020

On 11 February, Venezuela’s opposition leader and internationally recognised interim president Juan Guaidó re-entered the country after the conclusion of his 25-day international tour, and called for renewed protests against the de facto government led by Nicolás Maduro.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 11 February 2020

On 10 February Colombia’s defence minister, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, promised a “total offensive” against the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) guerrillas, in response to the armed group’s declaration of a 72-hour nationwide ‘armed strike’, beginning on 14 February.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 10 February 2020

On 7 February, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov met with Venezuela’s de facto president Nicolás Maduro, announcing plans to deepen co-operation with Venezuela and to strengthen Russia’s support for Maduro’s government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 07 February 2020

On 6 February, Colombian fugitive and former national deputy (2014-2018) Aída Merlano told a Venezuelan court that a number of influential political figures - including Colombia’s President Iván Duque – had conspired to assassinate her, to silence accusations of political corruption.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 06 February 2020

On 5 February, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognised by the US government as Venezuela’s interim president, met with US President Donald Trump as part of an official visit to the White House.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 05 February 2020

On 4 January, a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) was prevented from boarding a flight to Venezuela, on the orders of de facto president Nicolás Maduro’s government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 04 February 2020

On 3 February, eight presidential candidates were presented to Bolivia’s electoral tribunal (TSE), meeting the registration deadline for the country’s 3 May elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 03 February 2020

On 31 January, Venezuela’s de facto President Nicolás Maduro announced plans to create a high commission to overhaul the country’s judicial system, as part of an ongoing effort to “change Venezuela in all its aspects”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 31 January 2020

Peru’s congressional elections on 26 January produced a clear loser: the right-wing Fuerza Popular (FP, Fujimoristas) was eviscerated.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 30 January 2020

On 29 January, Venezuela’s de facto president Nicolás Maduro offered to resume diplomatic relations with Colombia, in order to facilitate the extradition of former Colombian legislator Aída Merlano, who is wanted for electoral fraud.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 29 January 2020

On 28 January, the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) presidential candidate, Luis Arce, returned to Bolivia to begin his campaign but was immediately summoned to face the attorney general’s office over allegations of embezzlement during his time as economy minister (2006-2019).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 28 January 2020

On 27 January, congressional candidate Daniel Urresti declared the result of Peru’s legislative elections held on 26 January a victory for the forces of anti-corruption, as populist and centrist parties prospered.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 27 January 2020

On 24 January, the leader of Bolivia’s interim government Jeanine Áñez confirmed that she will stand in May’s presidential elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 24 January 2020

Juan Guaidó is intent on capitalising on the publicity afforded by the clumsy attempt to prevent him from assuming the presidency of the national assembly for a second straight year by going on a high-profile foreign tour in defiance of a legal bar on his leaving Venezuela.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 23 January 2020

On 22 January, several ministers in Jeanine Áñez’s interim government in Bolivia voiced their support for Áñez as a potential presidential candidate, in response to widespread speculation on Twitter about the possibility of her entry into the contest.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 22 January 2020

On 21 January, the government led by President Iván Duque insisted that it is unable to negotiate on most of the demands issued by the Comité Nacional del Paro protest group, after the first major demonstrations of the year in cities across Colombia led to renewed clashes with the controversial anti-riot police (Esmad).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 21 January 2020

On 20 January US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo committed to increasing US support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s efforts to remove Nicolás Maduro from power.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 20 January 2020

On 19 January, Bolivia’s former economy minister Luis Arce (2006-2019) was named as the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) presidential candidate for the May general election, with former foreign minister David Choquehuanca (2006-2017) chosen as vice-presidential candidate.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 17 January 2020

On 16 January, Bolivia’s interim defence minister Fernando López announced that the armed forces had been deployed to cities across the country and will carry out regular patrols until 24 January.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 16 January 2020

On 15 January, China’s foreign ministry confirmed that “China and Venezuela are stopping or slowing down some of our co-operation, due to sanctions and other factors”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 15 January 2020

On 14 January, Peru’s constitutional court (TC) rejected an appeal claiming that President Martín Vizcarra’s dissolution of congress on 30 September 2019 was in violation of the constitution, by four votes to three.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 14 January 2020

On 13 January, Bolivia’s interim justice minister Álvaro Coimbra announced that a further charge of sedition has been brought against former president Evo Morales (2006-2019), after he called for the organisation of local militias to challenge the country’s armed forces.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 13 January 2020

On 12 January Colombia’s national police reported that it had thwarted an assassination attempt against Rodrigo Londoño ('Timochenko'), president of the Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común (Farc), the political successor to the demobilised Farc guerrilla group.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 10 January 2020

On 9 January, four national assembly members accused of conspiring against the Ecuadorean government were allowed to leave for Mexico, after spending nearly three months in the Mexican embassy in Quito, Ecuador’s capital.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 9 January 2020

On 8 January, Bolivia’s interim government announced the opening of investigations into 592 former government officials, accused of embezzling state funds.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 8 January 2020

On 7 January, Venezuelan opposition leader and disputed national assembly (AN) president Juan Guaidó returned to the parliament building, outlining plans for another round of public protests against the de facto government led by Nicolás Maduro.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 7 January 2020

On 6 January, the president of Bolivia’s electoral authority (TSE), Salvador Romero, confirmed that the extension of the interim government’s mandate, due to end on 22 January, will have to be approved in the legislative assembly.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 6 January 2020

* Colombia’s national statistics institute (Dane) has released figures which show that annual inflation closed at 3.8% in December 2019, up from the 3.18% registered in December 2018.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 3 January 2020

On 2 January, Colombia’s Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común (Farc), the political successor to the demobilised guerrilla group, reported the murder of  former combatant Benjamín Banguera Rosales in the south-western department of Cauca.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 02 January 2020

On 31 December 2019, Bolivia’s interim government announced it would appoint a high representative to the country’s embassy in Spain, in order to resolve the “impasse” over the expulsion of two Spanish diplomats from Bolivia.