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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America

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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 April 2020

On 2 April El Salvador’s human rights ombudsman (PDDH) José Apolonio Tobar warned that the military and police had destroyed journalists’ “informative material” and forced them to delete videos and photographs.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 April 2020

On 1 April Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado expressed concern about the measures taken by neighbouring Nicaragua to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 01 April 2020

On 31 March Guyana’s supreme court ruled that it did not have the jurisdiction to rule on an injunction against the country’s electoral commission (Gecom) which had prevented it from carrying out a national recount of the votes cast in the 2 March general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 31 March 2020

On 30 March Honduras’ President Juan Orlando Hernández announced new measures for micro, small, and medium-sized firms (MSMEs) in response to the stringent steps taken with the aim of containing the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), which include the shutdown of all non-essential business activity.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 March 2020

On 27 March Cuba’s economy minister, Alejandro Gil, said that agricultural production would be a priority as part of efforts by the government led by President Miguel Díaz-Canel to address the economic fallout of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 March 2020

On 26 March El Salvador’s legislature authorised the government led by President Nayib Bukele to issue debt of up to US$2bn to address the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 March 2020

On 25 March the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a joint statement calling on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from the world’s 76 poorest countries, to redirect funds towards addressing the economic fallout from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 March 2020

On 24 March public transport drivers staged protests in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, in demand of food and money to cover basic expenses.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 March 2020

As of today (24 March) tourists will no longer be permitted to enter Cuba, as per new regulations announced by the government led by President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 March 2020

On 22 March Nicaragua’s influential private sector lobby, Cosep, urged the government led by President Daniel Ortega to adopt tougher measures to address the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 March 2020

On 19 March Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse confirmed the first two cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 March 2020

On 18 March Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo declared a national curfew between 9:00pm and 5:00am, effective immediately with limited exemptions, after coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country surged from 86 to 109.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 March 2020

On 17 March Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernández announced four financial measures to address the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 March 2020

On 16 March Guyana’s electoral commission (Gecom) announced that it had completed “all the preparatory arrangements” for the start of the national recount of votes from the 2 March general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 March 2020

On 14 March El Salvador’s 84-member unicameral national legislature declared a state of emergency to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 March 2020

On 12 March Cuba’s public health ministry (Minsap) reported the first case of a local resident that had become infected with coronavirus (Covid-19).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 March 2020

On 11 March Guyana’s Acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire ruled that the partial results of the 2 March general election are null and void and ordered the Guyana Electoral Commission (Gecom) to carry out a recount of the votes cast in the Region Four electoral district.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 March 2020

On 10 March Haiti’s Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe announced that the government has decided to allow members of the national police (PNd’H) to form a union.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 March 2020

On 9 March the local press reported that members of the Haiti’s national police (PNd’H) staged violent demonstrations in the capital, Port-au-Prince, demanding the right to unionise.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 09 March 2020

On 8 March Guyana’s Supreme Court upheld an injunction blocking the elections commission (Gecom) from releasing the full results of the 2 March general election and proclaiming a winner until the allegations of irregularities in the process are reviewed by the court.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 March 2020

On 5 March the US embassy in Guyana, the British High Commissioner, the Canadian High Commissioner, and ambassador of the European Union (EU) issued a joint statement questioning the credibility of results published by Guyana’s electoral commission, from Region 4, the country’s most populous electoral district.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 05 March 2020

On 4 March Costa Rica’s minister for the presidency, Víctor Morales Mora, resigned.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 04 March 2020

On 3 March US prosecutors said that Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernández took a US$25,000 bribe in 2013 – the year he was first elected - from Geovanny Daniel Fuentes Ramires, an alleged cocaine trafficker.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 March 2020

On 2 March Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse named Joseph Jouthe, who currently heads the economy & finance and environment ministries, as his new prime minister.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 March 2020

On 28 February El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele vetoed a new bill on transitional justice, reparations and national reconciliation relating to the country’s civil war (1980-1992).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 February 2020

On 27 February the local media cited United Nations resident coordinator in Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka, as underlining the need for political parties to accept the results of the 2 March general elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 February 2020

On 26 February El Salvador’s 84-member unicameral national legislature approved a new bill on transitional justice, reparations and national reconciliation relating to the country’s civil war (1980-1992).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 26 February 2020

On 25 February Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado posted a tweet condemning the murder the previous day of an indigenous Brörán leader, Yeri Rivera, in the Térraba indigenous territory, Puntarenas province.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 25 February 2020

On 24 February hundreds of protesters staged demonstrations in the capital of the Dominican Republic (DR), Santo Domingo.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 February 2020

On 23 February Haiti’s local media reported that two people had been killed, a member of the national police (PNd’H) and a soldier, after the PNd’H exchanged fire with the military (FAd’H) in front of the national palace in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 February 2020

The Costa Rican government led by President Carlos Alvarado last week revealed a comprehensive plan aimed at tackling the country’s rising fiscal deficit.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 February 2020

On 19 February members of Haiti’s national police force (PNd’H) led hundreds of supporters in protests in the capital, Port-au-Prince, burning carnival floats, tyres and vehicles, and setting fire to the offices of Samuel Madistin, a lawyer and adviser to President Jovenel Moïse.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 19 February 2020

On 18 February hundreds of protesters gathered outside the offices of the Dominican Republic’s (DR) central electoral board (JCE) in the capital, Santo Domingo, demanding explanations for its decision to suspend the 16 February municipal elections.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 18 February 2020

On 17 February Guatemala’s congress president Allan Rodríguez, a member of the ruling Vamos party, said he would not permit “any kind of interference” or “pressure or recommendations” in relation to recently approved reforms to the law on NGOs.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 February 2020

* Costa Rica’s public security minister, Michael Soto, has announced the country’s biggest ever cocaine seizure, totalling over five tonnes (t).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 February 2020

The image of heavily armed soldiers stationed inside and outside El Salvador’s legislative assembly on 9 February had a chilling effect on democrats across the region and beyond.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 February 2020

On 12 February El Salvador’s attorney general’s office (AG) announced investigations into the recent deployment of the military and police to the national congress, adding that legal action would be taken against those deemed responsible.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 12 February 2020

On 11 February Honduras’s attorney general’s office (AG) announced the arrest of the general commissioner of the national police (PN) Leonel Luciano Sauceda Guifarro and his wife Patricia Sbeltlana Estrada Pacheco on money laundering charges.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 11 February 2020

Since assuming the presidency in May 2018, Carlos Alvarado and Costa Rica’s centre-left ruling Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) have overseen promising improvements in public security.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 February 2020

On 9 February El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele and a group of armed soldiers and officers from the national police (PNC) briefly occupied the country’s 84-member unicameral national legislature.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 07 February 2020

On 6 February Arístides Valencia, a former interior minister (2014-2019) under the previous opposition Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) government, appeared in court, where he was formally charged with electoral fraud and illicit association in relation to the 2014 electoral process.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 06 February 2020

On 5 February Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo dismissed his ministers of security and interior, Rolando Mirones and Carlos Romero respectively.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 05 February 2020

On 4 February Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei named Oscar Dávila, a former deputy interior minister, as the head of the new presidential anti-corruption commission.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 04 February 2020

On 3 February Alejandra Mena, the spokesperson for Guatemala’s national migration institute (IGM), told reporters that a caravan of Honduran migrants had entered Guatemala, en route to the US.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 February 2020

On 2 February Costa Rica’s electoral authority (TSE) released preliminary figures from the municipal elections which took place the same day.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 31 January 2020

President Juan Orlando Hernández marked his second year in office by pledging to move forward this year with a “new electoral system”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 30 January 2020

On 29 January Costa Rica’s finance ministry released new figures which show the country’s fiscal deficit reached 6.96% of GDP in 2019, the worst in three decades.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 29 January 2020

On 28 January Norman Quijano, a national legislator for El Salvador’s right-wing opposition Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena) party, a former congress president (2018-2019) and 2014 Arena presidential candidate, reiterated that he had not negotiated with street gangs.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 28 January 2020

From LatinNews Daily
- In brief: Honduras’s trade deficit shrinks
*Honduras’s central bank (BCH) has released new figures which show that in the first 11 months of 2019, the country registered a trade deficit of US$5.4bn, US$246.8m less than the amount registered in the same period of 2018.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 27 January 2020

On 25 January Honduras’s President Juan Orlando Hernández revealed plans to progress with a “new electoral system” this year, ahead of the 2021 general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 24 January 2020

Alejandro Giammattei and his conservative Vamos government took up the reins of power in Guatemala last week, making all-too-familiar pledges which have failed to materialise under his predecessors: to tackle poverty and food insecurity, corruption, and crime.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 23 January 2020

On 22 January a local civil-society group, Asamblea Social y Popular (ASP), questioned the state of prevention recently decreed by Guatemala’s new President Alejandro Giammattei in the two municipalities of Mixco and San Juan Sacatepéquez, both in Guatemala department.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 22 January 2020

On 21 January Honduras's President Juan Orlando Hernández tweeted that he was going to ask the 128-member unicameral national legislature to discuss and make decisions on legislative initiatives proposed by the Organization of American States (OAS)-sponsored Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih) aimed at tackling corruption.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 21 January 2020

On 20 January Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei announced that he was analysing the asylum cooperation agreement (ACA) signed with the US last year.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 20 January 2020

On 17 January the Honduran government led by President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that it had failed to reach an agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) to renew the mandate of the OAS-sponsored Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 17 January 2020

On 16 January Guatemala’s new President Alejandro Giammattei announced plans to set up a new anti-corruption commission.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 16 January 2020

On 15 January Guatemala’s new President Alejandro Giammattei said Honduran migrants with identification would be allowed to enter Guatemala en route to Mexico and the US.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 15 January 2020

On 14 January Guatemala’s new president, Alejandro Giammettei, and his conservative Vamos government assumed office for a four-year term.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 14 January 2020

On 13 January Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse announced that the terms of all 119 national deputies and two-thirds of the 30-member senate had expired.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 13 January 2020

In an interview with national daily Prensa Gráfica, published on 13 January, El Salvador's presidential commissioner Carolina Recinos said the government’s plan to revive the economy was part of a more general development strategy which began with security.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 10 January 2020

On 9 January, Gustavo Porras, a legislator for Nicaragua's ruling Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) and legislative president, announced plans to discuss electoral reforms this year, ahead of the 2021 general election.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 9 January 2020

In an interview with TV programme Frente a Frente, broadcast on 8 January, El Salvador’s justice & security minister Rogelio Rivas hailed a dramatic reduction in homicides.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 8 January 2020

On 7 January, Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro met Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse in the capital Port-au-Prince where the two discussed the continued political crisis facing the country, among other topics.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 7 January 2020

On 6 January, civil-society groups called on the government led by President Juan Orlando Hernández to renew the original agreement establishing the Organization of American States (OAS)-sponsored Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (Maccih).

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 6 January 2020

On 5 January, Panama's leading private sector lobby, Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP), urged the new supreme court (CSJ) justices Maribel Cornejo, María Eugenia López, and Carlos Alberto Vásquez, along with new attorney general (AG) Eduardo Ulloa, to lead efforts to “rescue citizen confidence in the judiciary”.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 3 January 2020

On 2 January President Laurentino Cortizo highlighted the need to reactivate Panama’s economy as a key challenge for his Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) government.

LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 02 January 2020

On 30 December 2019 the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega announced the conditional release of 91 political prisoners.