What you should know
- Peru: President Castillo was ousted by lawmakers after he sought to dissolve Congress ahead of an impeachment vote.
- Brazil: The Economy Ministry rejected assertions by President-elect Lula’s transition team that Bolsonaro’s outgoing administration was leaving government finances “bankrupt.”
- Social outlook: A recent Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) report projects that by the end of 2022, LAC will have 201 million people living in poverty – an increase of 15 million compared to the pre-pandemic situation.
- ICYMI: On December 7, the Atlantic Council launched a paper on improving tax policy in LAC. Read it here.
Monitoring economic headwinds and tailwinds in the region
- Argentina: signed a new information-sharing agreement with the US designed to root out tax evasion. It could increase tax revenue for Argentina by $1 billion US.
- Barbados: concluded new funding arrangements with the IMF, $113 million
USto continue its fiscal reform package and $189 million UStowards its climate change response.
- Brazil: President-elect Lula announced that Fernando Haddad, former minister of education and mayor of São Paulo, would be his finance minister.
- Mexico: announced that additional consultations on the USMCA energy dispute would be held through early January, to ensure continued investment and confidence.
- Peru: was placed under a state of emergency after protests gripped the country. Political upheaval led S&P to lower the country’s economic outlook to “negative.”
- Transatlantic relations: Argentina called for reviewing the potential EU-Mercosur trade agreement, highlighting threats to local auto industry and barriers to agricultural exports.
- Uruguay: criticized Mercosur’s inaction on trade agreements with large economies, drawing criticism for its own independent negotiations with China and to join the TPP.
In focus: Guyana’s carbon credits
Guyana is the first country to issue carbon credits designed to prevent forest loss and the first under the ART’s REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard to ensure integrity and independent verification. The Hess Corporation, which is a partner in an oil consortium led by ExxonMobil that operates in Guyana, will purchase $750 million US of these credits. This move reflects how resilient growth, balancing between the opportunities in the energy sector and protecting its valuable environment, has become a priority in light of climate change and stresses like the COVID-19 pandemic.
These credits will support Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy, with 15 percent of the revenues set aside for indigenous communities. With some 18 million hectares of forest, Guyana is a major carbon sink, and has previously worked with Norway to protect this resource. The new credits reflect Guyana’s status as a “High Forest, Low Deforestation” country, another first.
Health + Innovation
- Argentina: Transport Ministry officials recommended all passengers travelling on public transportation to return to wearing face-masks amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
- Universal Health Day: The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) director called on the region to redouble efforts towards achieving universal health as they begin to rebuild from the pandemic.
- Mexico: The state of Nuevo Leon reintroduced the mandatory use of face masks in closed public spaces as the number of COVID-19 infections and other respiratory diseases rise.
Geopolitics of vaccine donations: US vs. China
- The United States outpaces China in its donations of COVID-19 vaccines to Latin America and the Caribbean, with Colombia and Mexico topping the list. The region has received roughly 52 percent of all US COVID-19 vaccine donations. To learn more, visit our COVID-19 vaccine tracker: Latin America and the Caribbean.