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Venezuela's Maduro buries hatchet with billionaire boss
War of words ends in accord seen as bellwether for relations between state and business 

Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and the billionaire boss of Venezuela's biggest private company have buried the hatchet after a war of words over food shortages. Maduro and Empresas Polar president Lorenzo Mendoza met to discuss their differences in a spat seen by Venezuelans as a bellwether for future state-business relations, Reuters reports.



Peña Nieto prepares to tilt with dinosaurs in new round of reform
Mexican president's plans could face strong opposition from within his own party

The reforms launched by Enrique Peña Nieto, the Mexican president, have sought to bust taboos in education and telecommunications. But the next stage is likely to affect areas that could directly challenge the grip on regional power by his party, many of whose old guards are known as dinosaurs who oppose reform. This is uncharted territory, The Economist reports.



Bolivia coca beer fights the height 
Potent brew reported to combat altitude sickness 

A brewery in Bolivia has come up with a way to get buzzed in more ways than one: coca beer. Combining the thirst-quenching capability of beer with the stimulating effect of the Andean nation's coca leaf, Ch'ama is a coca and barley-based alcoholic drink that brewers claim helps locals and visitors cope with Bolivia's notorious high altitude, the Associated Press reports.



Starwood Hotels to grow Latin footprint by 50 percent in five years
Chain already operates 72 hotels in 13 countries after growing 36 percent since 2007

Starwood Hotels & Resorts says it will grow its operating hotel footprint in Latin America by 50 percent over the next five years, expanding its presence in Brazil and opening its first W hotel in Colombia. Starwood is the largest high-end hotel operator in the region with 72 hotels in 13 countries, a presence that has grown 36 percent since 2007, FOXBusiness reports.



Debt-laden Latam Airlines seeks $1 billion share sale in tough times
Lan-Tam merger faces $1-8 billion in short-term debt and tougher competition on routes

Things have suddenly got tougher for Latam, the merged Lan-Tam airline which just unveiled first-quarter results. It has a hefty $1.8 billion in short-term debt and is suddenly facing heightened competition on its domestic Brazilian and international routes. Which explains why it is seeking to raise $1 billion from shareholders by October, the Financial Times reports.




  • Colombian central banker warns against overheating Wall Street Journal
  • Venezuela may allow companies to repatriate some dividends Bloomberg
  • Mexico's Femsa: convenience stores to pharmacies Financial Times
  • Brazil will use robots to help with World Cup security Associated Press
  • Peru economy misses forecasts on slow expansion Bloomberg
  • Mexico's ICA may sell stake in airport unit to raise $400 million Bloomberg
  • Brazil auction rules may boost price of cheap wind power Bloomberg



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