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January 3, 2014

EXCLUSIVE interview: FunSEPA President Salvador Paiz
Organization focuses on improving education in Guatemala through the use of technology

LBC interviewed Salvador Paiz, President of FunSEPA, a nonprofit organization working to improve the quality of education in Guatemala through technology. He is also vice president of the Foundation for the Development of Guatemala, FUNDESA, and discusses both organizations' achievments and plans for contributing to Guatemala's development. 

Brazilian government posts worst trade deficit in 13 years
Consumer demand boosted imports, while slower global growth affected exports

Brazil's 2013 trade surplus reached $2.56 billion, its worst since 2000. The country's imports grew 6.5 percent on a daily average, reaching $240 billion for the year, while exports dropped 1 percent to $242 billion, according to the Trade Ministry. But the trade balance will improve this year on increased oil and grain production, Foreign Trade Secretary Daniel Godinho said, Bloomberg reports.

Row threatens Panama Canal expansion
Spanish-led consortium seeks $1.6 billion for cost overrun 

Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso, leader of the consortium Grupos Unidos Por el Canal, GUPC, threatened to stop works on the third set of locks in the Panama Canal expansion project. The firm gave the Panama Canal Authority 21 days to settle a dispute caused by $1.6 billion in overrun costs. President Ricardo Martinelli (left) said he will travel to Europe to demand the government's of Spain and Italy, where the consortium is headquartered, to take moral responsibility, the BBC reports.

Costa Rica ranks ninth in the world for energy efficiency
Central American country generates 99 percent of its power through clean sources

Costa Rica ranked second in Latin America and ninth worldwide in the World Economic Forum's Top 10 Energy Performance Index. The Central American nation came second only to Colombia in the region, with 91 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources and a coverage of 99 percent of the country, the Costa Rica News reports.

Mexico's Sigma public offering seen boosted on joint Campofrio bid
Move would be company's first European acquisition

Mexican conglomerate Alfa's plans to sell stock in its Sigma Alimentos food unit will get a boost from a joint takeover offer with China's Shuanghui for Spanish company Campofrio Food Group. The joint takeover offer, announced last month, is worth $970 million, and would be Sigma's first European acquisition, Bloomberg reports.


Cuban economy seen growing 2.2 percent this year Bernama

Mining investment in Peru up 15 percent in first eight months of 2013 Andina

Bolivia opens first wind power plant GlobalPost

BTG Pactual tops Brazil 2013 mergers and acquisitions ranking (table) Reuters

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