LatAm Daily Briefing: Mexico to Cap LPG Prices; Peru’s Castillo Picks Left-Wing PM

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

Publicado vendredi, juillet 30 2021
LatAm Daily Briefing: Mexico to Cap LPG Prices; Peru’s Castillo Picks Left-Wing PM

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández has come in for scrutiny over visits to his presidential residence by a former model during the country’s period of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Documents leaked this week reveal that Sofía Pacchi, a 31-year-old former model and actress, entered the presidential residence more than 60 times since Fernández took office, and some of which may have contravened Covid-19 quarantine measures that were in place at the time. The leaked documents have prompted a legal complaint from rival politicians.

Brazil has recorded a rare snowfall in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul  amid a fierce cold snap. At least 43 cities have registered either snow or freezing rain this week, according to information from weather service Climatempo. Local television footage showed Brazilians building a snowman in a plaza and having a snowball fight in Bom Jesus, a city in Rio Grande do Sul state. Brazil’s last blizzard was in 1957, when 4.3 feet of snow was recorded in a city in Santa Catarina state. Temperatures are expected to keep dropping, with more snow possible, the government’s meteorological institute said. 

Chile’s non-conventional renewables increased production output in June by 26.8% year-on-year, to 1,480GWh in gross terms, according to the latest figures released by Chilean energy commission CNE. Renewables contributed 21.8% in the total gross electricity production, compared to 21.7% registered in May. Production from conventional sources and the overall gross power production dropped by 1.6% and 1.4% month-on-month, respectively, according to CNE.

Colombian startup Merqueo, which operates an on-demand delivery service across Latin America, has secured a $50 million Series C funding round. Investors include IDC Ventures, Digital Bridge and IDB Invest, MGM Innova Group, Celtic House Venture Partners, and Palm Drive Capital. The financing brings the Bogotá-based startup’s total raised to $85 million since its 2017 inception. Merqueo is described as a pure-play online supermarket with a fully integrated grocery delivery service that sources directly from large brands and local suppliers, bypassing intermediaries and delivering directly.

Mexico will set maximum prices to the public for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), after the governing body of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) unanimously approved the guidelines issued by the Energy Ministry to set maximum prices for the fuel due to an increase in the price of the energy, which is widely used in households and businesses across the country. LPG prices rose by 16.7% in 2020, despite the CRE presenting a complaint to the country’s antirust body Cofece over inconsistencies in prices by companies distributing the fuel. Sener itself urged the CRE to issue its opinion on the methodology no later than three days after the publication of the Guideline.

Peru's President Pedro Castillo has named Guido Bellido as prime minister, and who hails from within his Marxist-Leninist Free Peru party. Bellido, an electronics engineer who first became a lawmaker six days ago and has never held public office, was sworn-in On Thursday, and vowed he would represent the interests of all Peruvians and advance the new government’s fight against corruption. Like Castillo, Bellido has a rural, peasant background. Castillo, who took office on Wednesday, has promised an end to corruption and the drafting of a new constitution and has vowed to upend a quarter-century of neoliberal government and create a better life for struggling Peruvians.