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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone

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

On 9 December, the governor of Brazil's São Paulo state, João Doria, held a second meeting with the families of the fatal victims of a police operation in São Paulo city’s Paraisópolis favela on 1 December. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 09 December 2019

On 6 December, Argentina’s President-elect Alberto Fernández unveiled his incoming ministerial cabinet, naming two heterodox economists at the helm of his economic team.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 06 December 2019

On 5 December, heads of state from the four Southern Common Market (Mercosur) countries – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – met in the municipality of Bento Gonçalves in Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul for the trade bloc’s 55th summit.

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

On 4 December, Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies approved a watered-down version of the so-called anticrime package of bills presented by Justice Minister Sérgio Moro earlier this year. 

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

On 3 December Argentina’s president-elect Alberto Fernández revealed the first two members of his cabinet one week ahead of taking office and attended a meeting of his Frente de Todos coalition in the federal lower chamber of congress.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 03 December 2019

On 2 December Chile’s finance minister Ignacio Briones presented a US$5.5bn plan to try and reactivate the economy, which suffered its heaviest contraction for over two decades in October, according to the latest monthly economic activity index (Imacec) published shortly beforehand.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 02 December 2019

On 1 December, residents of the Paraisópolis favela in the south zone of Brazil’s São Paulo city marched to demand justice after a police operation resulted in nine people being trampled to death during a ‘baile funk’ party in the early hours of the morning that same day.

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

On 28 November Daniel Martínez, the presidential contender for Uruguay’s leftist ruling Frente Amplio (FA) coalition, conceded defeat and recognised Luis Lacalle Pou from the centre-right Partido Nacional (PN, Blancos) as the country’s president-elect.

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

On 27 November members from the opposition and ruling parties in Chile’s senate signed an accord under which they agree to work together to pass legislation that helps restore public order in the country amid the ongoing social protests.

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

On 26 November, four men who are part of the Alter do Chão volunteer fire brigade in Brazil’s Amazonian state of Pará were arrested by the state civil police, suspected of having intentionally started forest fires with the aim of receiving funds from international NGOs.    

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

On 25 November, the Instituto de Segurança Pública (ISP) for Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state released its latest crime statistics, which show that police lethality has reached historical records even as overall homicides are falling.

LatinNews Regional Monitor - Brazil & Southern Cone - 25 November 2019

On 24 November Brazil’s principal opposition party, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), concluded the third day of its national convention in the city of São Paulo, during which federal deputy Gleisi Hoffmann was re-elected as party leader with the backing of former president Lula da Silva (2003-2011).

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

On 20 November, the official campaigning period for Uruguay’s 24 November presidential run-off came to a close.

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

On 19 November, Rodrigo Maia, a federal deputy from the centrist Democratas (DEM) party and the president of Brazil’s chamber of deputies, presented fellow lawmakers with a package of proposed social reforms dubbed the ‘agenda for social development’.

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

On 18 November, Brazil’s national institute for space research (Inpe) published its yearly estimate for annual deforestation rates in the so-called ‘legal Amazon’, which indicates a 29.54% annual increase in deforestation in the August 2018-July 2019 period.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone – 18 November 2019

On 17 November, Argentina’s President-elect Alberto Fernández revealed that members of his transition team have already begun discussions with Argentina’s creditors over renegotiating the country’s debt.

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

In the early hours of 15 November, political party leaders in Chile’s national congress announced that they had reached an agreement with the government led by President Sebastián Piñera on a road map to drafting a new constitution.

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

On 13 November, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro met with his Chinese peer Xi Jinping on the first day of the Brics summit of emerging markets (comprising Russia, India, and South Africa as well as Brazil and China) currently taking place in Brasília. 

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

On 12 November, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera called for an end to the violence registered during the public protests in demand of greater economic and social equality; and for all Chileans to come together and peacefully agree on social pacts to overcome the crisis.

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

On 11 November, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes launched some programmes aimed at stimulating job creation.

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

On 9 November, Brazil’s former president Lula da Silva (2003-2011) returned to his political birthplace, São Bernardo do Campo in greater São Paulo, to rally his supporters from the leftist Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) following his release from prison. 

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

On 7 November, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera announced that he had sent to congress a package of legislative bills designed to reinforce public security and help restore order in the country in the face of the violent protests against inequality that have been raging across Chile for the past three weeks.

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

On 6 November, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro lifted the 10-year ban on the cultivation of sugarcane in the country’s Amazonian forests and wetlands.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 06 November 2019

On 5 November, the Brazilian government led by President Jair Bolsonaro presented to the federal congress its ambitious package of economic reforms that aims to tackle the fiscal deficit, reduce government spending and the size of the state, and decentralise federal budget resources to states and municipalities. 

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

On 4 November, the leader of Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies, Rodrigo Maia, expressed concern about the minister of institutional security's “serious” comments raising the possibility of adopting a dictatorship-era decree to control popular protests, a measure that had initially been suggested by one of the President Jair Bolsonaro’s sons. 

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

Over the weekend (2-3 November) the governor of Brazil’s Maranhão state, Flávio Dino, announced the creation of a new task force to protect the indigenous communities.

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

On 31 October, Luis Lacalle Pou, the candidate of the centre-right opposition Partido Nacional (PN, Blancos) in Uruguay’s presidential run-off on 24 November, concluded a round of meetings trying to secure the support of his defeated presidential opponents with a visit to the headquarters of the right-wing Cabildo Abierto (CA) party, which was represented by Guido Manini Ríos.

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

On 30 October, Brazil was left reeling from President Jair Bolsonaro’s outburst in a video he posted on social media late the previous night, after national broadcaster TV Globo reported that he had been cited in the investigation into the murder of Rio de Janeiro city councillor Marielle Franco. 

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

On 29 October, the United Nations office in Brazil (UN Brasil) published a note in which it expressed “profound preoccupation” with the oil spill polluting Brazil’s northeast coast and offered its assistance to help with efforts to clean-up the oil and investigate its source. 

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

On 28 October, there were violent protest in Chile’s capital, Santiago, and other cities as thousands of people once again demonstrated against economic inequality in the country.

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

On 27 October, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri recognised defeat in the presidential election held that day and congratulated his rival, Alberto Fernández of the hard-line Peronist Frente de Todos coalition, on winning election.

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

On 23 October, the official campaign period ahead of the 27 October first-round of voting in Uruguay’s general election formally ended.

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

On 22 October, Brazil’s 81-member federal senate approved the base text for the pension reform (PEC 6/19) in a second round of voting, with 60 votes in favour and 19 against. 

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

On 21 October Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera proposed establishing a new “social agreement” with the political opposition to address the demands made by those protesting against the cost of living and economic inequality.

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

On 20 October, Admiral Leonardo Puntel, commander of Brazil’s naval operations, declared that the mysterious oil spill that is polluting beaches in the country’s nine northeastern states “is a totally unprecedented accident in Brazil, probably also in the western world”.

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

On 17 October, the secretary-general of the board of Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies announced that deputy ‘Delegado Waldir’ Soares de Oliveira would remain leader of the ruling Partido Social Liberal (PSL) in the chamber after an attempt to appoint deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro in his place failed to garner enough valid signatures. 

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

On 16 October, the executive director of NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kenneth Roth, expressed concern over the state of democracy and the respect of human rights in Brazil.

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

On 15 October, Brazil’s federal police (PF) conducted raids on properties owned by Luciano Bivar, a federal deputy and the president of the ruling Partido Social Liberal (PSL), as part of an investigation into the misuse of public party funds in the state of Pernambuco. 

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

On 14 October, Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez swore-in Euclides Acevedo as his new interior minister.

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

On 12 October, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo criticised the United Nations (UN) while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Brazil in São Paulo, the first Latin American edition of this US event bringing together conservative politicians and activists.  

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

On 10 October, Venezuela’s state-run oil firm Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) rejected as “tendentious” the “unfounded accusations” that the oil currently polluting Brazil’s northeast coastline is of Venezuelan origin. 

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

On 9 October, Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies approved a bill which establishes the rules for the distribution between federal, state, and municipal entities of royalties from a tender for exploration concessions of the ‘pre-salt’ offshore oil fields.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 09 October 2019

On 8 October, an auditor in Brazil’s federal financial ombudsman, the Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU), ordered the suspension of the government’s advertising campaign for Justice & Public Security Minister Sérgio Moro’s ‘anti-crime package’ of public security bills, currently under discussion in the federal chamber of deputies. 

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

On 7 October, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro held a meeting with cabinet ministers and representatives from the armed forces at the defence ministry in Brasília to discuss recent oil spills of unknown origin which are affecting beaches across the country’s Northeast region.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 07 October 2019

On 6 October, Brazilian daily Folha de São Paulo reported that Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio and President Jair Bolsonaro, both from the ruling Partido Social Liberal (PSL), might have benefited from illegal campaign financing (‘caixa 2’) during last year’s election.   

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

On 3 October, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state civil police arrested four people suspected of involvement in the murder of leftist Rio city councillor Marielle Franco on 14 March 2018.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 03 October 2019

On 2 October, the Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), a public health research institute, published its findings of the effects on child health of wildfires in Brazil’s Amazonian region, and the financial cost this carries for the national public health service, the Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS).

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

On 1 October, the two leading candidates in Uruguay’s presidential race, Daniel Martínez of the leftist ruling Frente Amplio (FA) coalition and Luis Lacalle Pou of the centre-right opposition Partido Nacional (PN, Blancos), took part in a televised debate ahead of the 27 October general election.

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

On 30 September, Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina da Costa Dias declared that the Brazilian agribusiness sector is “the most sustainable in the world”.

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

On 29 September, the Brazilian magistrates’ association (AMB) announced that it had filed a direct action of unconstitutionality (ADI) with the federal supreme court (STF) against a recently approved bill known as the ‘abuse of authority’ law.

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

* Bolivia’s energy minister Rafael Alarcón and Mauro Mendes, the governor of Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Bolivia to export electricity and potassium chloride, which is used as fertiliser, to Mato Grosso.

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

On 25 September, Brazil’s federal senate approved the appointment of deputy-prosecutor general Augusto Aras as the country’s new federal attorney general (PGR).

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

On 24 September, Marcio Astrini, public policy coordinator of Greenpeace Brazil, described President Jair Bolsonaro’s speech given that same day at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as a “farce”.

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

On 23 September, Brazil’s vice-president, and currently acting president, Hamilton Mourão, said that parts of the country are at war with “narco-gangs” which is why tragedies sometimes happen, in reference to the death of an eight-year old girl hit by a stray bullet, believed to have been fired by the police, in Rio de Janeiro last week.

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

On 18 September Argentina’s Confederación de Trabajadores de la Educación (Ctera) teachers’ union called for a 24-hour national strike to demand that the provincial and national governments find a solution to the social discontent in the southern Chubut province.

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

* The Chilean subsidiary of Colombian state-owned utilities firm Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), EPM Chile, has announced the US$138m sale of a wind power project (with an installed capacity of 109.6 MW) in Chile’s Coquimbo Region to AES Gener SA and its subsidiary Norgener Renovables SpA (both subsidiaries of US firm AES Corporation).

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

On 17 September, international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report in which it says that criminal networks drive illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and that the Brazilian government fails to protect those who stand up to the criminals.

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

On 15 September, the São Paulo state civil police arrested André ‘André do Rap’ de Oliveira Macedo, a suspected leader of Brazil’s drug trafficking organisation (DTO), the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), at a luxury condominium in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro state. 

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

On 12 September Argentina’s federal chamber of deputies voted in favour of a bill declaring a food emergency in the country after an agreement was reached between the opposition and members of the ruling Cambiemos coalition.

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

On 11 September, Brazil’s special secretary for the tax authority (Receita Federal) Marcos Cintra gave up his position in the economy ministry.

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

On 10 September Carlos Bolsonaro, a Rio de Janeiro city councillor and son of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, faced a backlash for a tweet in which he said that Brazil would not reach desired change through democratic channels.

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

On 9 September, Brazil’s acting president Hamilton Mourão warned about the negative long-term effects that the US-China trade war will have on Brazil, despite short-term benefits to certain exports.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 09 September 2019

On 8 September, Brazil’s supreme court (STF) suspended an injunction by Rio de Janeiro state's justice tribunal (TJ-RJ) which allowed the confiscation of books touching upon the subject of homosexuality in Rio’s biennial book fair.  

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 06 September 2019

On 5 September, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he will appoint deputy prosecutor Augusto Aras as the next head of the federal attorney general’s office (PGR).

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

On 4 September, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera distanced himself from Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro after the latter attacked Michelle Bachelet, a former Chilean president (2006-2010; 2014-2018) and currently United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, and praised the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

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

On 3 September, Brazil’s agriculture and livestock confederation (CNA) met with members of the Frente Parlamentar da Agropecuária (FPA), the agribusiness caucus in the federal congress, to discuss the legislative environmental agenda.  

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

On 2 September, Brazilian pollster Datafolha published the results of its latest national public opinion survey, according to which President Jair Bolsonaro is losing popular support. 

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

On 1 September, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri issued an urgent decree (DNU) that introduces restrictions on the purchase and transfer of US dollars by local economic actors.

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

On 29 August, US firm VF Corporation, a holding company for major shoe and apparel brands such as Timberland, confirmed that it is suspending its imports of Brazilian leather over concerns with Brazil’s tanning industry’s environmental impact.

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

On 28 August Argentina’s finance minister, Hernán Lacunza, announced measures under which the government will “reprofile” its short-term debts by extending the payment dates on debts owed to creditors including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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

On 27 August, Argentina’s S&P Merval stock market fell by 4.74%, while the value of the peso fell by 2.5% to Ar$58.60/US$1.

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

On 26 August, the G7 countries announced their intention of providing US$20m to help combat forest fires in the Amazon.

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

On 23 August, France’s President Emmanuel Macron called the fires currently raging through the Amazon an “international emergency” and called for talks about the issue at this weekend’s G7 summit in Biarritz, France.

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

* Brazil’s government chief-of-staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, and Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas have announced the launching of studies on either the partial or complete privatisation of nine state companies.

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

On 20 August, a police sniper killed a man who had hijacked a bus on the Rio de Janeiro-Niterói bridge after a three-hour stand-off that brought parts of the city of Rio de Janeiro to a standstill.

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

On 19 August, Pedro Alliana, the president of Paraguay’s national chamber of deputies, announced that the motion to subject President Mario Abdo Benítez and Vice President Hugo Velázquez to impeachment proceedings will be debated by the chamber this week, adding that he expected that it would be rejected.

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

On 18 August, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri accepted the resignation of his finance minister, Nicolás Dujovne, and appointed Hernán Lacunza as his replacement.

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

On 15 August, the hashtag '#AbusoDeAutoridadeNao' was trending on Brazilian Twitter, as President Jair Bolsonaro was being asked to veto a bill approved by the federal chamber of deputies the previous day, known as the ‘abuse of authority law'.

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

On 14 August the value of the Argentine peso against the US dollar fell sharply for a third consecutive day to trade at around Ar$60/US$1.

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

On 13 August, students and teachers took to the streets across Brazil in the third national protest against President Jair Bolsonaro’s cuts to the education sector.

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

On 12 August, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri said that he will continue to campaign from now until the 27 October general election to try to revert the result of the open, simultaneous, and mandatory party primaries (Paso) in which the opposition obtained a major victory that appears to bury Macri’s re-election hopes.

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

On 11 August, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro responded to the news that Germany has suspended donations to the Amazon Fund by saying that Brazil “does not need” the aid and that the money could be better spent by Germany elsewhere.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 09 August 2019

On 8 August, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro defended his Justice Minister Sérgio Moro’s proposed security bills known as the ‘anti-crime package’ during his weekly Facebook Live broadcast, having earlier described it as secondary to other reforms. 

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

On 7 August, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) expressed its concern at President Jair Bolsonaro’s “apparent reprisal against the Brazilian press”. 

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

On 7 August, in the early hours of the morning, Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies approved the pension reform proposal (PEC 6/19) with 370 votes to 124 in a second round of voting.

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

On 5 August, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro repeated his intention of introducing legislation to allow the security forces to kill in the line of duty, when defending people, possessions, and property.

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

On 2 August, Ricardo Galvão announced his departure as head of Brazil’s national institute for space research (Inpe) following his public disagreement with President Jair Bolsonaro over the reliability of the institute’s data on deforestation.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 02 August 2019

On 1 August, following a press conference on deforestation, Brazilian environmental NGO Observatório do Clima criticised the government led by President Jair Bolsonaro for presenting “a lie, a deception, and a false solution to the problem”.

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

On 31 July, Paraguay’s political opposition and dissident factions of the ruling Asociación Nacional Republicana-Partido Colorado (ANR-PC) announced that they would present a formal request in congress for President Mario Abdo Benítez and Vice President Hugo Velázquez to be subjected to impeachment proceedings for the signing of a bilateral agreement with Brazil deemed to be contrary to Paraguay’s national interests.

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

On 30 July, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Brazil to renew its environmental commitments, as outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, during the COP25 climate meeting in Santiago de Chile later this year.

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

On 29 July, Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez accepted the resignations of four top government officials including his foreign minister, Luis Alberto Castiglioni, over the signing of a controversial agreement with Brazil on the distribution of electricity at the Itaipú binational hydroelectric dam.

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

On 27 July, the Brazilian association of investigative journalism (Abraji) condemned President Jair Bolsonaro for “[promoting and instigating] serious attacks on the freedom of expression” by suggesting that US journalist Glenn Greenwald could be arrested.

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

On 25 July, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo said that the state-owned oil company Petrobras could face losses in its US activities once it refuels two Iranian ships, which are subjected to US sanctions, currently docked in Brazil.

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

On 24 July, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced a series of measures which the government says will inject R$42bn (US$11bn) into the economy over the next two years.

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

On 23 July, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree establishing the Novo Mercado de Gás (new gas market) programme, which creates an inter-ministerial monitoring committee to accompany the opening up process of Brazil’s natural gas market.

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

On 22 July, Brazil’s finance secretary Waldery Rodrigues Júnior presented the bi-monthly review of the government’s primary revenues and expenses and announced a new freeze of the executive branch’s 2019 budget.

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

On 19 July, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro repeated his criticism of the government’s national space research institute (Inpe), questioning the veracity and reliability of its data on Amazon deforestation.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 19 LatinNews Daily

On 18 July, a joint police operation in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro city resulted in the seizure of 30 firearms and 8.5 tonnes (t) of drugs.

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

* The Brazilian economy institute (Ibre) at Brazil’s Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) has released the latest figures for its monthly foreign trade indicator (Icomex) which show that the value of Brazilian exports fell 10.4% in June this year compared with June 2018.

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

On 16 July, the Uruguayan government announced that it had reached an agreement with Brazil’s state-owned oil firm Petrobras under which the firm will be allowed to cancel its concessions on natural gas distribution in the country in exchange for the termination of all the legal disputes between the firm and its local unions.

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

On 15 July, Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourão gave a press conference with foreign correspondents in Rio de Janeiro during which he defended a “flexible” and “pragmatic” approach to Brazil’s foreign relations.

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

* Bolivia’s state-owned oil company (YPFB) has announced that it will partner with Russian fertilizer production company Acron to establish a new company in Brazil called BORUS (Bolivia-Russia) Fertilizer.

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

On 11 July, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said that he was thinking about appointing his son Eduardo, currently a federal deputy, as the country’s ambassador to the US.

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

On 10 July, Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies approved the base text of a pension reform proposal with 379 votes to 131.

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

On 9 July, a court in Brazil's Minas Gerais state convicted mining giant Vale for the damages caused by the deadly rupture of a tailings dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, in January this year.

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

On 8 July, Brazil’s federal police (PF) arrested a father and son, suspected members of the ’Ndrangheta mafia from Italy’s southern Calabria region, at a beachside town in the state of São Paulo.

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

On 8 July, the results of Brazilian pollster Datafolha’s latest national public opinion survey were released, showing that the country remains divided in three over its opinion of President Jair Bolsonaro and his government.

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

On 4 July, Rio de Janeiro state's civil police and organised crime unit (Gaeco) arrested 42 people in the city of Itaboraí, in the north-east of Rio’s metropolitan area, as part of an operation against local militia.

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

On 3 July, Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles met with the Norwegian and German ambassadors to Brazil, Nils Gunneng and Georg Witschel, to discuss the Amazon Fund, which supports projects that tackle deforestation.

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

On 2 July, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo brushed away concerns about France’s reluctance to ratify the trade deal reached between the European Union (EU) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) last week.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 02 July 2019

On 1 July, Brazil’s steel sector expressed concern that it would be negatively impacted by the bilateral trade deal reached last week between the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the European Union (EU).

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

On 30 June, demonstrations took place in dozens of cities across Brazil in support of Justice Minister Sérgio Moro and the ‘Lava Jato’ corruption investigation on which he previously worked as a federal judge.

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

On 27 June, Brazil’s federal police (PF) detained three people with links to Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio as part of an investigation into the irregular use of public campaign funds in his Partido Social Liberal (PSL).

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

On 26 June, Brazil’s air force (FAB) command announced a military police enquiry into a FAB sergeant suspected of drug trafficking, following his arrest by Spanish authorities in Seville after 39kg of cocaine were found in his luggage.

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

On 25 June, Brazil’s supreme court (STF) turned down one habeas corpus request and postponed the decision on another, which were presented by the defence of imprisoned former president Lula da Silva (2003-2011).

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

On 24 June, supreme court (STF) justice Luís Roberto Barroso suspended a decree signed by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro last week which transfers the responsibility for demarcating indigenous territories from the federal indigenous rights agency (Funai) to the agriculture ministry (Mapa).

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

On 22 June, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro publicly questioned the supposed “superpowers” of the national legislature, which he sees as diminishing his presidential authority.

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

On 20 June, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro told journalists that he would stand for re-election in 2022 if he fails to pass a political reform during his current term.

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

On 19 June, Brazil’s Justice Minister Sérgio Moro appeared before the federal senate’s constitution and justice committee (CCJ) to respond to questions relating to leaked messages revealed by news site The Intercept Brasil which cast doubt over the integrity of his work as a judge on the ‘Lava Jato’ corruption investigation.

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

On 18 June, Sergio Massa, the leader of the Frente Renovador (FR) faction in the main opposition Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronists), confirmed that he will run for a seat in the federal lower chamber of congress for the Frente de Todos coalition led by Alberto Fernández and former president Cristina Fernández (2007-2015) in Argentina’s general elections on 27 October.

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

On 17 June, Gustavo Montezano, previously assistant secretary for privatisations and divestments in Brazil’s economy ministry, was appointed as the new head of the country’s national development bank (BNDES). 

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

On 16 June, Joaquim Levy resigned as the head of Brazil’s national development bank (BNDES).

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

On 13 June, retired army general Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz was dismissed as minister for the secretary of government (Segov) by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro.

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

On 12 June, The Intercept Brasil revealed new excerpts of leaked messages between now-Justice Minister Sérgio Moro and prosecutors from the ‘Lava Jato’ corruption probe taskforce, which implicate supreme court (STF) justice Luiz Fux in the allegations of wrongdoing.

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

On 11 June, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri announced that his vice-presidential running mate in the 27 October general will be Miguel Ángel Pichetto, the leader of the main opposition Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronists) in the federal senate.

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

On 10 June, Brazil’s national council of public prosecutors (CNMP) announced that it was launching proceedings to investigate allegations that prosecutors working on the ‘Lava Jato’ corruption investigation had committed ethical violations and engaged in potentially illegal practices throughout the case.   

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

On 9 June, online news publication The Intercept Brasil published a three-part feature based on leaked documents in which it reveals “serious ethical violations and legally prohibited collaboration between the judge and prosecutors” of the 'Lava Jato' corruption investigation taskforce.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 07 June 2019

On 6 June, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro paid a state visit to Argentina, where he held a bilateral meeting with his Argentine counterpart President Mauricio Macri. 

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 06 June 2019

On 5 June, Brazil’s environment ministry (MMA) announced the launch of a “mega-operation” to combat deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. 

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

On 4 June, 11 former justice or public security ministers and six former education ministers of Brazil put on a united front to express their concern with the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government in their respective areas of expertise.

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

On 3 June, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro congratulated members of congress for approving a provisional decree which implements measures aiming to combat fraud in the national social security institute (INSS).

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

On 31 May, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro questioned the supreme court’s (STF) planned vote on the criminalisation of homophobia, accusing the country’s highest court of “legislating”.

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

On 30 May, thousands of students took to the streets across Brazil for the second time this month to protest against the government’s education policy.

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

On 29 May, the president of Brazil’s federal senate Davi Alcolumbre (Democratas, Dem) announced that the senate will not vote on a decree which introduces changes to the forest code, choosing instead to let it expire on 3 June.

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

On 28 May, Brazil’s federal senate approved by 70 votes to four the ‘administrative reform’, a decree signed by President Jair Bolsonaro in January which re-organised the ministerial structure of the executive branch.

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

On 26 May, thousands of Brazilians took part in demonstrations across the country to show support for President Jair Bolsonaro and some of his flagship policies.

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

On 23 May, Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourão presided over a meeting of the Sino-Brazilian high-level coordination and cooperation committee (Cosban) in Beijing, China, alongside his Chinese counterpart Wang Qishan. 

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

On 22 May, Brazil’s national civil aviation agency (Anac) authorised Spanish group Globalia, owner of airline Air Europa, to operate domestic flights in the country.

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

On 21 May, Brazil’s presidential spokesperson Otávio Rêgo Barros said that President Jair Bolsonaro was considering making changes to the decree loosening regulations on the right to purchase, own, and carry a firearm, which he signed earlier this month.  

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

On 20 May, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro assured that there is no fight between the different branches of government, merely “tittle-tattle” largely fuelled by the press.

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

On 18 May, Argentina’s former president, Cristina Fernández (2007-2015), publicly announced that she would not be running for the presidency in the October general election but had decided to be the vice-presidential candidate of her former cabinet chief, Alberto Fernández (2003-2008).

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

On 16 May, various members of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government in Brazil minimised the significance of mass protests held the previous day, saying that demonstrations are a natural part of a democracy.

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

On 15 May, tens of thousands of people took the streets in cities across Brazil to protest budget cuts to universities announced by President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.

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

On 14 May, residents from the Complexo do Alemão favela complex in greater Rio de Janeiro blocked a road to protest the death earlier that day of a local resident, shot in the head, reportedly by the police.

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

On 13 May, Brazil’s presidential spokesperson Otávio Rêgo Barros said that the Brazilian government hopes that the US and China will resolve their trade issues.

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

On 12 May, Juan Schiaretti, the incumbent governor of Argentina’s central province of Córdoba, won re-election by a record margin for the Partido Justicialista (PJ, Peronists).

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

Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s former president (2007-2015), launched her new book on 9 May in front of an unprecedented crowd at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair, Feria del Libro.

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

On 8 May, a presidential decree which relaxes the laws concerning the right to carry a gun was published in Brazil’s official gazette, O Diario Oficial da União.

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

On 7 May, Renata Souza, a deputy in Rio de Janeiro’s state legislative assembly (Alerj), said that she had denounced the public security policy promoted by Rio de Janeiro state governor Wilson Witzel to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN).

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

On 6 May, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro assured that “there is but one team” in his government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 03 May 2019

On 2 May, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said in an interview with local TV channel SBT that the recently announced cuts to university budgets would allow for better investment in primary education.

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

On 1 May, trade unions across Brazil joined forces to demonstrate against the government’s proposed pension reform.

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

On 30 April, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro held an emergency meeting with cabinet ministers to discuss the miltiary uprising that began that same day in Venezuela. 

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

On 29 April, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced plans to benefit the country’s agribusiness sector during the opening of the Agrishow 2019, an agricultural technology fair, in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo state.

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

On 26 April, Brazil’s leftist former president Lula da Silva (2003-2011) gave an interview from prison in Curitiba, Paraná state, where he is serving a sentence for corruption, in which he described the country’s current right-wing government as a “band of lunatics”.

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

On 25 April, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri appealed for calm during a radio interview in which he claimed that the financial markets were punishing the country out of fear that his predecessor Cristina Fernández (2007-2015) would win October’s presidential elections.

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

On 24 April, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro thanked members of the federal chamber of deputies’ constitution and justice committee (CCJ) for approving the constitutionality of the pension reform proposal and highlighted the importance of a swift approval of the reform.

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

On 23 April, the constitution and justice committee (CCJ) of Brazil’s federal chamber of deputies ruled the pension reform proposed by the government to be constitutional.

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

On 22 April, Brazil’s infrastructure minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas held a meeting with representatives from a number of the country’s lorry drivers’ associations and reached an agreement to “alleviate the effect” of rising diesel prices.

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.