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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone

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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 23 April 2019

It has been another torrid month for Mauricio Macri and Argentina’s beleaguered economy.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 18 April 2019

On 17 April, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro once again argued that he will allow the country’s indigenous peoples to exploit agricultural and mineral resources within their protected territories.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 17 April 2019

On 16 April, Brazil’s supreme court (STF) rejected a request by the federal public prosecutor’s office (MPF) that it suspend an investigation into ‘fake news’ and online attacks that supposedly question the honour of STF justices.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 16 April 2019

On 15 April, Brazil’s economy ministry presented the draft of its budgetary guidelines law (LDO) for 2020 to the federal congress.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 15 April 2019

On 14 April, demonstrations took place in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in memory of Evaldo dos Santos Rosa, who was shot dead by members of the armed forces on 7 April, and to demand justice for his death.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 12 April 2019

On 11 April, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro took part in a ceremony with cabinet ministers to mark the government’s first 100 days, during which it claims to have met all 35 goals it had set itself.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 11 April 2019

On 10 April, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro attended a dinner with representatives from 37 Islamic countries, along with his Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina da Costa Dias, Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, and son Eduardo, who is a federal deputy and heads the foreign relations committee in the chamber of deputies.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 10 April 2019

On 9 April, environmental NGO Greenpeace Brasil published a note warning against the “environmental setbacks” that President Jair Bolsonaro’s government is causing in Brazil.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 9 April 2019

On 8 April, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced the appointment of Abraham Weintraub as education minister, in replacement of Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 8 April 2019

On 7 April, Brazilian pollster Datafolha released the results of a survey conducted between 2 and 3 April, which show that, three months into his term, President Jair Bolsonaro has record levels of low approval ratings.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 05 April 2019

On 4 April, thousands of people took part in a protest march in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, organised by local workers’ unions and leftist political parties in protest at the economic policies of the government led by President Mauricio Macri and calling for the opposition to coalesce around a consensus presidential candidate in the October general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 04 April 2019

On 3 April, the secretary of the military police (PM) in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state, Colonel Rogério Figueredo, admitted that the armed forces’ federal intervention into the state’s public security last year had had little impact on crime reduction.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 3 April 2019

On 2 April, Rio de Janeiro city's municipal council voted 35 to 14 in favour of initiating impeachment proceedings against the mayor, Marcelo Crivella.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 2 April 2019

On 1 April, Uruguay’s President Tabaré Vázquez dismissed his defence minister, the commander of the army, and placed into early retirement five army generals over revelations that they failed to punish former army officers who confessed to the killing and disappearing of individuals during the military dictatorship (1973-1985).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 1 April 2019

On 31 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Jerusalem, via Tel Aviv, for an official visit to Israel, where he held talks and signed cooperation agreements with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 29 March 2019

On 28 March, 250 tonnes of explosives were found during a Brazilian police raid on a storage container in Rio de Janeiro.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 28 March 2019

On 27 March, the index for Brazil’s São Paulo stock exchange (Ibovespa) fell 3.57% to its lowest point since 7 January, while the US dollar appreciated 2.24% against the real, trading at R$3.95/US$1, an almost six months high.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 27 March 2019

On 26 March, Brazil’s public prosecutor’s office (MPF) declared that President Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the 31 March 1964 military coup are incompatible with the democratic state.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 26 March 2019

On 25 March, Brazil’s former president Lula da Silva (2003-2011) requested the annulment of a conviction for which he is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence, and that the case be transferred to Brazil’s electoral court. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 25 March 2019

On 22 March, the presidents of Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, and Paraguay, along with a representative from Guyana, launched the new regional bloc: the Foro para el Progreso y Desarrollo de América Latina (Prosur).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 22 March 2019

On 21 March, Brazil’s former president Michel Temer (2016-2019) was arrested in São Paulo on charges linked to the Lava Jato (‘Car Wash’) corruption investigation.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 21 March 2019

On 20 March, Brazil’s government led by President Jair Bolsonaro presented the federal congress with a draft bill for the reorganisation of the armed forces, proposing changes to the military social protection system (which includes pensions).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 20 March 2019

On 19 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro met US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington DC, on his first official foreign visit.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 19 March 2019

On 18 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro assured the US of Brazil’s friendship under his presidency during a speech at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC, part of the Brazilian president’s agenda on his official visit to the US.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 18 March 2019

On 16 March, the president of Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies Rodrigo Maia hosted a meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro, the leader of the senate Davi Alcolumbre, and the head of the supreme court (STF) Justice José Antonio Dias Toffoli, as well as with cabinet ministers and members of congress. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 15 March 2019

On 14 March, Brazil’s supreme court (STF) ruled by six votes to five that cases involving non-electoral crimes, such as corruption and money laundering, but that are linked to electoral crimes, such as undeclared campaign financing (‘caixa 2’), must be judged in the country’s electoral courts.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 14 March 2019

On 13 March, two young men opened fire in a secondary school in Brazil’s greater São Paulo metropolitan area, killing eight people and injuring at least 11 before committing suicide.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 13 March 2019

On 12 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro received Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez for an official state visit at the capital, Brasília.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 12 March 2019

On 11 March, the Brazilian bar association (OAB) and the Brazilian association for investigative journalism (Abraji) released a note condemning President Jair Bolsonaro’s latest attempt to discredit the press on Twitter.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 11 March 2019

On 10 March Roraima Energia, the local energy provider in Brazil’s northern border state of Roraima, said that it had no estimate as to when the electricity supply from Venezuela might be restored.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 08 March 2019

On 7 March, Argentina’s supreme court (CSJN) dismissed an appeal filed by former president Cristina Fernández (2007-2015) over the preventative detention order issued against her as part of a corruption trial.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 7 March 2019

On 6 March, the hashtag #ImpeachmentBolsonaro was trending on Twitter in Brazil, after President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted an explicit video in criticism of Carnival which has attracted widespread condemnation from both his supporters and opponents. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 6 March 2019

On 5 March, confusion in a Carnival ‘bloco’ (street parade) in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro city left over 200 people injured and forced the parade to an abrupt early end.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 5 March 2019

On 4 March, Brazilian news site Congresso em foco published an article arguing that a provisional decree passed on 1 March which prohibits union subscriptions from being paid directly out of workers’ wages is unconstitutional and threatens unions’ existence.    

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 4 March 2019

On 2 March, Brazilian mining giant Vale announced that the company’s CEO Fábio Schvartsman and three other executives were temporarily stepping down amid the backlash from the collapse of a tailings dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state, in January.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 01 March 2019

On 28 February thousands of people took part in a protest march in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, demanding the immediate removal of ‘bad judges’.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 28 February 2019

On 27 February, Brazilian daily O Globo revealed the contents of a plea bargain deal reached last year with executives from local construction company OAS as part of the ‘Operation Car Wash’ corruption probe, implicating current and former elected politicians from across the political spectrum.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 27 February 2019

On 26 February, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro met with his Paraguayan counterpart, Mario Abdo Benítez, at the binational Itaipú hydroelectric dam in Foz do Iguaçu, in Brazil’s border state of Paraná.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 26 February 2019

On 25 February, the governor of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema, approved a law which tightens regulations around mining activity in the state.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 25 February 2019

On 24 February, Brazil’s foreign ministry released a note condemning the acts of violence taking place on Venezuela’s borders with both Colombia and Brazil, and attributed responsibility for them to Nicolás Maduro, the leader of the Venezuelan government now considered illegitimate by much of the international community. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 22 February 2019

On 21 February, Brazil’s presidential spokesperson Otávio do Rêgo Barros said that the government saw no risk of friction with Venezuela, following the country’s de facto president Nicolás Maduro’s decision to close the border, and that Brazil is focusing on delivering humanitarian aid.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 21 February 2019

On 20 February, the Brazilian government led by President Jair Bolsonaro unveiled the details of a pension reform and presented the proposal to the federal congress.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 20 February 2019

On 19 February, Brazil’s justice and public security minister, Sérgio Moro, delivered his ‘anti-crime package’ to the president of the federal chamber of deputies, Rodrigo Maia from the Democratas (Dem) party.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 19 February 2019

On 18 February, Brazil’s presidential spokesperson Otávio do Rêgo Barros confirmed that Gustavo Bebianno was being dismissed from his position as secretary-general to the presidency in President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 18 February 2019

On 16 February, Brazil’s tourism minister, Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, announced the creation of a R$62m (US$16.8m) credit line to stimulate the tourism industry in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state, following the destruction caused by the collapse of a dam containing mining waste last month.   

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 15 February 2019

On 14 February, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro met with government ministers and secretaries to discuss the specifics of a proposed pension reform.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 14 February 2019

On 13 February, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said that Gustavo Bebianno, the minister of the secretary-general to the presidency, would be dismissed if he was found to be guilty of embezzling funds from the president’s Partido Social Liberal (PSL) during last year’s election campaign.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 13 February 2019

On 12 February, the head of Brazil’s institutional security cabinet (GSI), General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, denied that the government is spying on the Catholic Church ahead of the synod of bishops due to take place in the Vatican later this year.  

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 12 February 2019

On 11 February, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo met with representatives appointed by Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaidó, to discuss the provision of humanitarian aid through Brazil’s northern border.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 11 February 2019

On 8 February, NGO Amnesty International (AI) Brazil requested that an investigation be launched immediately into the deaths of supposed criminals at the hands of military police (PM) in the city of Rio de Janeiro that same day.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 8 February 2019

On 7 February, doctors announced that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has a fever and is being treated for pneumonia and is expected to remain in semi-intensive care in for another seven days.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 7 February 2019

* Brazil’s national association of automotive manufacturers (Anfavea) has released new figures which show that 196,800 vehicles were manufactured in Brazil in January, a 10% fall on the same month in 2018.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 6 February 2019

Early on 6 February, the Brazilian government led by President Jair Bolsonaro announced that it would not be dismissing Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, of Bolsonaro’s Partido Social Liberal (PSL), after he was accused of corruption by local daily Folha de São Paulo.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 5 February 2019

On 4 February, deputies from Uruguay’s centre-right opposition Partido Nacional (PN, Blancos) urged the Frente Amplio (FA) leftist coalition government led by President Tabaré Vázquez to provide a full explanation over the claims that the de facto Venezuelan government led by Nicolás Maduro was trying to transfer money out of Venezuela and deposit it in Uruguay’s secretive banking system.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 4 February 2019

On 2 February, Brazil’s senate elected Senator Davi Alcolumbre, of the small Democratas (DEM) party, as its president until 2021.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 01 February 2019

On 31 January, a few hundred people took part in protests across the country organised by Brazil’s association of indigenous peoples (Apib) in defence of indigenous rights.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 31 January 2019

On 30 January, Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and the special secretary for pensions, Rogério Marinho, held meetings with municipal mayors and state governors respectively to hear their views and seek their backing on a proposed pension reform.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 30 January 2019

On 29 January, Salim Mattar, Brazil’s new denationalisation & divestment secretary within the economy ministry, said that only Petrobras, the Banco do Brasil (BB), and the Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) would remain state-owned companies after the government completes its privatisation drive.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 29 January 2019

On 28 January, Brazil’s federal attorney general Raquel Dodge defended holding mining giant Vale and its executives criminally liable for the collapse of a tailings dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state, last week.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 28 January 2019

On 27 January, Brazilian authorities confirmed that the number of casualties following a dam break on 25 January in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state, had risen to 58, with 305 people still reported missing and 192 rescued.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 25 January 2019

Development: On 24 January, Jean Wyllys, a federal deputy for Brazil’s left-wing Partido Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL), announced that he was relinquishing his seat as deputy in congress and leaving the country, citing increased harassment and death threats.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 24 January 2019

Development: On 23 January, Brazil’s government chief-of-staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, presented 35 goals to be met within the new administration’s first 100 days in office.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 23 January 2019

Development: On 22 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro delivered a special address on the opening day of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 22 January 2019

Development: On 21 January, five attacks were recorded in Brazil’s north-eastern state of Ceará against public buildings and vehicles, including a school and a school bus, incidents which are being treated as part of the ongoing violent attacks organised by criminal gangs that have been plaguing the state since the start of the year.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 21 January 2019

Development: On 20 January, Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourão told national news outlet G1 that the government would not be affected by suspicions of corruption hanging over Flávio Bolsonaro, the eldest son of President Jair Bolsonaro and senator-elect for the state of Rio de Janeiro.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 18 January 2019

Development: On 17 January, NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s approach to security represents a threat to public safety in the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 17 January 2019

Development: On 16 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro received Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri in Brasília, the first official visit of a foreign head of state since the new government took over on 1 January.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 16 January 2019

Development: On 15 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree loosening the country’s regulations on gun ownership.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 15 January 2019

Development: On 14 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced that retired army major Vítor Hugo Almeida, a federal deputy from the president’s Partido Social Liberal (PSL), will be the government leader in the federal chamber of deputies.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 14 January 2019

Development: On 13 January, the leftist Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) governor of Ceará state in north-eastern Brazil, Camilo Santana, ratified a series of laws aimed at combatting violence and organised crime.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 11 January 2019

Development: On 10 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed the appointment of diplomat Mario Vilalva as head of the export promotion agency (Apex), following the announced resignation of Alecxandro Carreiro after only one week in the post.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 10 January 2019

Development: On 9 January, the Brazilian press reported that representatives from around 50 national and international NGOs have addressed a letter to the Secretary of Government Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, requesting an opportunity for dialogue.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 9 January 2019

Development: On 8 January, Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes gave further indications on what a likely pension reform would look like, calling the current system “doomed”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 8 January 2019

Development: On 7 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and his new economy minister Paulo Guedes took part in the swearing in ceremony for the new presidents of Brazil’s state-run banks.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 7 January 2019

Development: On 5 January, 300 members of Brazil’s elite national public security force began operations in the north-eastern state of Ceará, providing support to state security forces as a wave of violence has swept across the state.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 4 January 2019

Development: On 3 January, University of Chicago-trained economist Roberto Castello Branco took over as CEO of Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras, defending more competition and less state intervention.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 3 January 2019

Development: On 2 January, Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro declared his intention of increasing bilateral cooperation with China and highlighted the importance of Sino-Brazilian relations after meeting with Ji Bingxuan, the vice-president of the permanent committee of China’s National People’s Congress.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 2 January 2019

Development: On 1 January, Jair Bolsonaro of the small right-wing Partido Social Liberal (PSL) was sworn in for a four-year term as the 38th president of Brazil.