LatAm Daily Briefing: Argentina’s Creditors Make New Offer; Police Probe Bolsonaro Allies; Chile Extends State of Emergency

16 June: Find out what's been happening in Latin America with our latest news update.

16 June: Find out what's been happening in Latin America with our latest news update.

A number of Argentina’s largest creditors have presented a new debt proposal to the government to broker a new restructuring deal for the country’s $65 billion debt. The Ad Hoc Bondholder Group and Exchange Bondholder Group submitted an offer agreeing to accept losses on a net-present value (NPV) basis of about 44% to 46%. The proposal remains outside the threshold Argentine officials are willing to accept however, Bloomberg quoted sources close to the negotiations as saying. The Economy Ministry had last week pushed a plan that called for NPV losses of about 50%, with a sweetener linked to agricultural exports.

Brazil’s federal police has launched another operation targeting allies of President Jair Bolsonaro, carrying out 21 search and seizure warrants in four states and the Federal District, where the capital of Brasilia is located. The probe reportedly targets two businessmen connected with the political party Bolsonaro has been trying to create, Alliance for Brazil. Lower house deputy Daniel Silveira, another supporter of the President’s, said on a Twitter post that the police also raided his apartment. On Monday, police arrested one of the leaders of a pro-Bolsonaro group which has set up camp and has been carrying out demonstrations in front of the Supreme Court in Brasilia, Bloomberg reported. 

Chile’s government on Monday extended the state of catastrophe in place since mid-March by 90 days as cases of coronavirus in the country continue to surge. The pace of new infections increased dramatically in May and June, averaging over 5,000 daily in recent weeks, filling intensive care wards and prompted authorities to declare a full lockdown in the capital Santiago, a city of more than six million, following a partial easing of lockdown measures in May. The state of catastrophe, extended by presidential decree, gives the government extraordinary powers to restrict freedom of movement and assure food supply and basic services, and includes the deployment of soldiers to enforce quarantine measures. Chile’s Covid-19 death toll currently stands at 3,383, with more than 184,000 infections.

The United Arab Emirates has sent eight metric tons of medical supplies to Colombia, and which will assist approximately 8,000 medical professionals as they work to contain the virus. Salem Rashed Salem Al Owais, the UAE’s ambassador to Colombia, said: "The UAE is keen under its policy of cooperation and solidarity to develop its relations with many countries around the world. The UAE always stands with friendly countries and provides them with a helping hand, especially under these circumstances, which the entire world is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.” On April 8th, the UAE sent 10 metric tons of medical supplies to Colombia to aid the country’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus, benefiting more than 10,000 healthcare professionals. The same flight repatriated 63 Colombian citizens from the UAE. Colombia’s death toll from the virus is currently 1,726, with more than 53,000 confirmed cases.

Mexico has placed a temporary ban on agricultural workers traveling to Canada following a spike in Covid-19 cases in Ontario and the death of two workers in the Windsor area, a farming heartland in the southwestern region of the province. As many as 5,000 temporary foreign workers expected to arrive in Canada in the coming months will be held back as a result of the move, and which deals a blow to the country’s agriculture industry, which is already struggling to find sufficient workers to handle this year’s planting and harvest season due in to the travel restrictions in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. Mexico’s ambassador to Canada Juan José Gómez Camacho told The Canadian Press that 300 Mexicans are believed to have been infected with Covid-19 across Canada.

Peru's economy contracted by more than 40% year-on-year in April, its worst-ever percentage drop in output, amid the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19, which President Martín Vizcarra has called “the most serious crisis in our history". Peru was one of the first countries in Latin America to impose a lockdown, and will likely endure one of the longest lockdowns in the world, as the government extended quarantine measures to June 30th. The quarantine measures have been insufficient as many people are forced to leave home for work or to buy basic supplies, while overcrowding in residential neighborhoods has made social distancing impossible. The country’s death toll from the virus is currently 6,860, with more than 233,000 confirmed cases. 


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