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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone

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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 03 April 2020

On 2 April, the Consórcio de Integração Sul e Sudeste (Cosud) organisation of southern and southeastern states in Brazil asked the federal government to take measures to help state governments as they face a sharp decrease in their revenue, due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 02 April 2020

On 1 April, the Brazilian government led by President Jair Bolsonaro unveiled an ‘emergency programme to maintain employment’, presented as its biggest effort so far to protect jobs from the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 01 April 2020

On 31 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro gave a nationally televised address in which he stressed his government’s commitment to protecting both lives and livelihoods throughout the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and called for a “national pact” to work towards this. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 31 March 2020

On 30 March, a group of opposition political parties and politicians in Brazil issued a call for President Jair Bolsonaro to resign over his incapacity to handle the public health emergency and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 30 March 2020

On 28 March, Laura Bastos Carvalho, a federal judge in Rio de Janeiro, ruled that Brazil’s federal government should suspend all advertising material in the ‘Brazil can’t stop’ campaign, which rejects the restrictive isolation measures being taken to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 27 March 2020

On 26 March, the president of Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies, Rodrigo Maia, defended that the government should guarantee workers’ salaries in the midst of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 26 March 2020

On 25 March, 26 of Brazil’s 27 state governors held a videoconference to discuss measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), and agreed that they would maintain their social isolation measures despite President Jair Bolsonaro’s calls to lift them.  

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 25 March 2020

On 24 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro gave a nationally televised address in which he once again downplayed the health risks of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and accused the media and the country’s state governors of stoking panic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 24 March 2020

On 23 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro withdrew part of a decree he had issued mere hours earlier, which would have allowed employers to suspend salary payments for four months, after facing fierce criticism for the measure.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 23 March 2020

On 22 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro criticised the measures taken by state governors across the country to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), calling them “exterminators of jobs” during an interview with national television channel TV Record.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 20 March 2020

On 19 March the Chilean government announced that, following a broad political agreement, the national plebiscite on whether to draft a new constitution set for 26 April has been rescheduled for 25 October due the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 19 March 2020

On 18 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro presided over a press conference in which his government outlined the measures being taken to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) and mitigate the pandemic’s impact on the national economy.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 18 March 2020

On 17 March, Brazilians staged ‘panelaços’ (pots-and-pans protests) in several major cities across the country, in rejection of President Jair Bolsonaro and his reckless attitude towards the coronavirus (Covid-19).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 17 March 2020

On 16 March both the Chilean and Uruguayan governments announced the closure of their respective borders to foreigners as emergency measures to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 16 March 2020

On 15 March, thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of cities across the country to express their support for President Jair Bolsonaro and rejection of the country’s democratic institutions with which he often clashes – with Bolsonaro himself breaking quarantine to join the event in Brasília.  

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 13 March 2020

On 12 March, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes announced the creation of a group to monitor the economic impacts of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Brazil, and a series of measures targeting the demographic most vulnerable to the disease.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 12 March 2020

On 11 March, Brazil’s Health Minister Luiz Mandetta asked lawmakers to release R$5.1bn (US$1.06bn) in funding to help efforts to contain and combat the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 11 March 2020

On 10 March, Brazil’s economy minister Paulo Guedes sent a letter to Davi Alcolumbre and Rodrigo Maia, presidents of the federal senate and chamber of deputies, respectively, in which he outlined the reforms that congress must approve to “shield” Brazil’s economy from a global downturn caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 10 March 2020

On 9 March, Brazil’s economy minister Paulo Guedes said he maintained “absolute serenity” as markets worldwide crashed in reaction to the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, and argued that Brazil’s economic and fiscal reforms will help the country weather a global crisis.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 09 March 2020

On 8 March, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro visited the headquarters of the US Southern Command (Southcom) in Doral, Florida, and met Southcom Commander, Navy Admiral Craig Faller.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 06 March 2020

On 5 March, Brazil’s São Paulo state governor João Doria announced a series of measures in response to heavy rains and resultant floods and landslides affecting the state’s coastal areas, as the death toll from the extreme weather has continued to rise.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 05 March 2020

On 4 March, Brazil’s national statistics institute (Ibge) released official figures for the country’s 2019 GDP growth, according to which the economy grew 1.1% last year.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 04 March 2020

In a 3 March press briefing, Word Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged all Latin American countries to adopt “comprehensive strategies” to contain the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 03 March 2020

On 2 March, Brazil’s federal health ministry gave an update on the outbreak of new coronavirus (Covid-19) in Brazil, reporting two confirmed cases and 433 suspicious cases under investigation.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 02 March 2020

On 1 March Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou was sworn-in as president of Uruguay.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 28 February 2020

On 27 February, Brazil’s federal environmental regulator, Ibama, said that it had not found any evidence of leakage of pollutants in the sea, after a ship transporting iron ore bound for China ran aground off the coast of Maranhão state (Nordeste region) on the evening of 24 February.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 27 February 2020

On 26 February Chile’s electoral authority (Servel) announced the launch of the formal campaign period ahead of the 26 April plebiscite on whether to draft a new constitution.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 26 February 2020

On 25 February, Brazil’s federal health ministry announced that it is investigating a case of coronavirus (Covid-19) after a man tested positive in the city of São Paulo.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 25 February 2020

On 24 February, the public security secretariat of Brazil’s São Paulo state (SSP-SP) posted its crime statistics for January 2020, according to which the state continues to see a drop in homicides but is suffering from a spike in thefts.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 24 February 2020

On 21 February, Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras reached an agreement with its employees to end a strike which had been ongoing since 1 February.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 21 February 2020

The IMF mission said it had enjoyed “very productive meetings” with the Argentine authorities and acknowledged that they were addressing the difficult economic and social situation in the country while at the same time taking steps to resolve the debt situation (it notes the restricting of capital flows, imposing maturity extensions on certain debts, and financing the fiscal deficit with reserves from the central bank [BCRA]).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 20 February 2020

On 19 February, Brazilian senator Cid Gomes was taken to hospital after sustaining a bullet wound.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 19 February 2020

On 18 February, a judge in a regional labour court (TRT-9) in the Brazilian state of Paraná ordered that Araucária Nitrogenados (Ansa), a subsidiary of state-owned oil company Petrobras, temporarily suspend the layoffs of its workers at a nitrogen fertilizer factory (Fafen) which it is planning to close.  

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 18 February 2020

On 17 February, some lorry drivers staged a 24-hour strike outside of the port of Santos in Brazil’s São Paulo state, which disrupted but did not block access to the country’s largest maritime port. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 17 February 2020

On 15 February, Brazil’s Justice & Public Security Minister Sérgio Moro argued that there is no excessive use of preventative detention in the country, after latest figures showed that over a third of the prison population is under provisional arrest. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 14 February 2020

Argentina’s economy & finance minister, Martín Guzmán, appeared before the federal lower chamber of congress on 12 February to outline the government’s planned debt renegotiation with external creditors.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 13 February 2020

On 12 February Argentina’s economy minister, Martín Guzmán, said that the country’s dire economic situation means that a “profound” restructuring of the public debt is necessary that will likely “frustrate” Argentina’s foreign creditors.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 12 February 2020

On 11 February, the communications secretariat in Brazil’s presidential office (Secom) stated that the US’s decision to remove Brazil’s designation as a developing economy does not harm the country. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 11 February 2020

On 10 February, São Paulo city’s municipal authorities reported that the city had seen 96% of the expected rainfall for the month in just the first ten days, with 40.9% of the average monthly precipitation falling yesterday morning alone.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 10 February 2020

On 9 February, police in Brazil’s north-eastern state of Bahia killed Adriano ‘Capitão Adriano’ da Nóbrega, a former captain in the police’s special operations battalion (Bope) in Rio de Janeiro state, on the run from the authorities, known to be linked with vigilante ‘milícia’ groups there, and reportedly wanted in relation to the March 2018 murder of Rio city councillor Marielle Franco.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 07 February 2020

On 6 February, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced that Rogério Marinho would replace Gustavo Canuto as federal minister for regional development.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 06 February 2020

On 5 February, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he had signed a draft law which would allow for commercial agriculture, mining, and other extractive activities on protected indigenous territories.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 05 February 2020

On 4 February the provincial government of Buenos Aires in Argentina announced that it would meet a US$250m bond payment in full in order to avoid being declared in default.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 04 February 2020

On 3 February, Brazil’s federal congress returned to work after the summer recess.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 03 February 2020

On 2 February, the Brazilian government led by President Jair Bolsonaro announced that it would begin the repatriation of Brazilian citizens from the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.    

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 31 January 2020

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández embarked on his first foreign trip this week in which he sought support for his government’s attempts to renegotiate the country’s debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 30 January 2020

On 29 January, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is expanding its Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) to Brazilian nationals, meaning that Brazilian migrants arriving in the US via Mexico will be returned to Mexico while they await the processing of their asylum claim. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 29 January 2020

On 28 January, Brazil’s pensions & labour secretary Rogério Marinho announced that Renato Vieira had resigned as president of the country’s social security institute, the Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social (INSS).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 28 January 2020

On 27 January, the state government of Minas Gerais in Brazil extended the declaration of a state of emergency to 101 municipalities, after several days of rainstorms causing landslides and floods which have left dozens dead.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 27 January 2020

On 25 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was received by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, while on a state visit during which the two countries signed a series of bilateral agreements.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 24 January 2020

The escape in the early hours of 19 January of 75 inmates from a Paraguayan prison, reportedly through a 15-metre tunnel dug in a bathroom in the middle of the prison compound, sounds like the plotline for a film script.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 23 January 2020

On 22 January Argentina’s Buenos Aires provincial government announced that it was extending the deadline for holders of its BP21 bond to accept an extension of the bond’s maturity until 31 January.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 22 January 2020

On 21 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced the creation of a ‘council of the Amazon’ which will be responsible for coordinating actions on the protection and sustainable development of Brazil’s Amazon region.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 21 January 2020

On 20 January, at least 26 prisoners escaped from the 'Francisco d’Oliveira Conde' prison in Rio Branco, the state capital of Acre in Brazil’s northern region.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 20 January 2020

* Brazil’s secretary-general to the presidency, Jorge de Oliveira Francisco, has announced that President Jair Bolsonaro has sanctioned the 2020 national budget which was approved by congress last December.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 17 January 2020

On 16 January the Federação Nacional de Jornalistas (Fenaj), an umbrella organisation for press unions in Brazil, reported that attacks against journalists and the press increased by 54% in 2019.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 16 January 2020

On 15 January, sources within the Brazilian foreign ministry (Itamaraty) confirmed to the press that Brazil had formalised the suspension of its activities in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) regional forum.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 15 January 2020

On 14 January, international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released its annual review of human rights around the globe, ‘World Report 2020’, in which it denounces the “anti-rights agenda” embraced by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 14 January 2020

On 13 January Bruno Covas, the mayor of the Brazilian city of São Paulo, sanctioned a law that bans single-use plastic products in commercial establishments.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 13 January 2020

On 10 January authorities in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state reported that four people had been killed during a police operation in Rio de Janeiro city.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 10 January 2020

On 9 January, Brazil’s national judiciary council (CNJ), the body that oversees the functioning of the judiciary, announced that it was extending by 60 days the work of the commission tasked with regulating the work of ‘judges of guarantees’ in the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 9 January 2020

On 8 January, Brazil’s national institute for space research, the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Inpe), released annual data on wildfires which show that fires in the Amazon increased by 30% in 2019 compared with 2018.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 8 January 2020

On 7 January, around 500 people took part in a protest against the rise of public transport fares in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, organised by the Movimento Passe Livre (MPL) social movement that advocates for free public transport.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 7 January 2020

On 6 January, the Brazilian press association, Associação Brasileira de Imprensa (ABI),  released a note signed by its president, Paulo Jerônimo de Sousa, in which it rejected recent declarations by President Jair Bolsonaro attacking journalists.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 6 January 2020

On 3 January, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said that he hoped none of the economic measures being taken by President Alberto Fernández’s new government in Argentina will affect Brazil.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 3 January 2020

On 2 January, Venezuela’s attorney general Tarek William Saab addressed a letter to Brazil’s attorney general Augusto Aras, requesting the extradition of five members of the Venezuelan armed forces (FANB) who fled to Brazil after supposedly being involved in an attack on a Venezuelan military base earlier in December 2019.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 02 January 2020

On 31 December 2019 Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro published a series of tweets defending the benefits of regularising wildcat mining on protected indigenous territories.