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Brazil economists cut growth forecast to slowest ever
Government struggles to revive growth as inflation slows demand

Economists covering the Brazilian economy cut their 2014 growth forecast to the slowest ever as the central bank raises interest rates to tame inflation. Latin America’s biggest economy is expected to expand 1.62 percent this year, compared with the previous week’s forecast of 1.69, according to a central bank survey of about 100 analysts, Bloomberg reports.

AT&T deal hits Carlos Slim
América Móvil's shares dropped 5 percent after news of divestment

AT&T Inc's planned $48.5 billion purchase of U.S. satellite provider DirecTV is severing a connection with Carlos Slim that goes back to 1990, and turning them into competitors. AT&T said it would sell its 8.4 percent stake in America Movil, Slim's telecoms firm, and withdraw its board members from the company to avoid conflicts of interest with the Mexican's TV operations across Latin America. News of the divestment hit Slim immediately, and America Movil's shares fell more than 5 percent early Monday, Reuters reports.

Panama and Venezuela to restore consular ties
Bilateral diplomatic and trade ties have been stalled since March 5

Panama and Venezuela agreed to restore consular relations, suspended since March 5 together with diplomatic and trade ties in the wake of a political dispute, the Panamanian Foreign Ministry said. Panamanian President-elect Juan Carlos Varela (right), who takes office on July 1, has maintained his determination to fully renew relations with Caracas, Fox News Latino reports.

Bachelet to send education reform to congress
Landmark reform is one of Chilean leader's key campaign promises

Chile's president Michelle Bachelet will send her landmark education reform package to Congress on Tuesday, one of her key campaign promises. Tens of thousands of students have taken to Chile's streets in recent years to demand free and improved education in a nation fettered by the worst income distribution among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's 34 member states, Yahoo News reports.

Santos says Colombia rival running criminal campaign
Recent video scandal could be decisive for elections, says expert

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos accused his main rival, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, of running a “criminal” campaign after a leading news weekly published a video that appears to show a former aide to Zuluaga telling the challenger that he has access to military intelligence. The scandal created by Semana’s clip will cause “great damage” to Zuluaga’s image, and may be decisive in handing Santos a victory, said Sandra Borda, a professor of politics at Bogota’s Andes University, Bloomberg reports.

MOREOVER

Mexico opposition leadership vote may impact reforms Reuters

Venezuela to protest in UN over U.S. interference in domestic politics RIA Novosti

Chile's Finance Minister sees $2 billion income shortfall in 2014 MSN Money

Peru's trade with China up 20 percent since trade agreement took effect Andina 

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