LatAm Daily Briefing: Colombian Military Kills ELN Rebel Leader; Mexico Reports Growth in Exports

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

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

Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has called for a political agreement to resolve Argentina’s mounting currency crisis. She said Argentina’s “bi-monetary economy,” in which the public earns and spends in pesos, but saves and imports in US dollars, is unsustainable and must be fixed. The former president, who led Argentina from 2007-15, called for the nation’s politicians to work together to resolve the problem. "The problem of the bi-monetary economy, which is, without a doubt, the most serious that our country has, it is impossible to solve without an agreement that encompasses all the political, economic, media and social sectors of the Argentine Republic," she said in a post on her website.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday it would be easier and cheaper to invest in a cure for Covid-19 rather than a vaccine, according to a Reuters report. “I’ll give my personal opinion: Isn’t it cheaper and easier to invest in a cure rather than a vaccine?” Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace in Brasilia. Bolsonaro who caught, and recovered from, Covid-19 in July, has repeatedly downplayed the gravity of the virus and continues to promote the anti-malarial chloroquine as a cure despite mounting evidence it is ineffective. More than 150,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Brazil thus far.

Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera has hailed the result of the referendum in which more than 78% of voters expressed their support for a new constitution on Sunday.
"This triumph of democracy should fill us with joy and hope," Piñera said. “Up until now, the constitution has divided us. From now onward, we should all collaborate so that the new constitution is a great mark of unity, of stability, and the future."

Chileans will vote on a constitutional assembly that will be charged with drafting the document in April 2021. The country’s current constitution dates from 1980 and was drawn up by the 1973-90 regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Colombian security forces have killed a top National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel commander known best by his nom de guerre Uriel, during an operation in the coastal Pacific province of Choco, President Ivan Duque said on Sunday. Uriel is allegedly responsible for kidnappings, the murders of human rights activists and members of the security forces and forced recruitment of minors, Duque was quoted by media as saying. "The terrorist Andrés Felipe Vanegas Londono, who used the alias Uriel, has been downed," Duque said. "This criminal was killed in a meticulous operation of shared intelligence by the national army of Colombia and the national police." Uriel used his social media to "defend crime," Duque said, and called for other ELN members to demobilize.

Mexico’s exports grew by 3.7% year-on-year in September, growth that was driven by the agriculture and mining sectors, according to statistics bureau INEGI. Most of the country’s export products saw sales increases during the month, compared with the same month of 2019, except for oil revenues, which dropped by 22.1% year-on-year, INEGI said. With domestic demand still repressed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, exports will be the main driver of economic growth for the country over the short term, according to analysts cited by La Jornada newspaper. Mining exports saw the sharpest growth during the month, of 25.4%, followed by exports of agricultural products, which increased by 19.3% year-on-year in September, INEGI said.

Peru is seeking to implement regulations to obligate companies engaged in the country’s hydrocarons sector to contract liability insurance, energy and mining investment regulator Osinergmin was quoted by news portal BNamericas as saying. “It is necessary to implement a mechanism that, using information and communication technologies (ICT), facilitates its [the insurance] compliance and supervision,” the regulator said. Once the resolution comes into force, companies currently operating in the sector will have 30 calendar days to register the required information, while companies that begin activities after the norm comes into force will have 10 calendar days, according to the report.




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