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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone

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

Brazil’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate unchanged on 6 February and signalled that congress needs to pass austerity measures before borrowing costs can fall.

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.