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June 16, 2014

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Colombia's Santos wins re-elections
Victory allows leader to continue peace talks with Marxist guerrillas

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (right) won a second term on Sunday with an election victory that allows him to continue peace talks with Marxist guerrillas to end a half-century war.  Santos beat right-wing challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga with about 50.9 percent support after a bitter campaign that challenged voters to decide between the incumbent's pursuit of negotiated peace or a likely escalation of combat under his rival, Reuters reports.  LBC explored the election issues here.

China seeks to boost Latin American presence
Asian giant is diversifying investments in the region

China is diversifying investments in Latin America by financing much needed development projects, analysts say. Until now, the Asian giant's presence in the region was largely based on an appetite for raw materials.  "China now acts in a different way with South American countries," said Gabriel Dabdoub, president of the chamber of commerce of the Santa Cruz region, Bolivia's economic engine, Business Recorder reports.

Codelco names interim chief executive officer
Technical considerations paramount in search for new CEO: Chairman

The board of Chilean state-run miner Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, has named Octavio Andrade Oses as interim chief executive officer. In a filing with Chile's securities regulator, Codelco said Andrade, vice president of the company's central-south operations, would serve as CEO until a definitive replacement is found for Tomas Keller, who ceased his duties Friday after being removed in a board vote earlier this month, Fox News Latino reports.

Merkel seeks progress in EU-Mercosur trade pact
German Chancellor vows to overcome obstacles to agreement

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) has met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during a short visit to Brasilia to attend the German team's first World Cup match. Following her meeting with Rousseff, Chancellor Merkel said Germany and Brazil had much to gain from intensifying their already deep trading ties. "We have a lot of interest in reaching a free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union," she said, Deutsche Welle reports.

Brazil growth forecasts cut to lowest ever
Inflation and low confidence curb consumption in South American nation

Brazil economists lowered their growth forecasts for this year and next as above-target inflation and low confidence curb consumption. Brazil’s gross domestic product will expand 1.24 percent this year and 1.73 percent in 2015, compared with the previous week’s forecast of 1.44 percent and 1.80 percent, respectively, according to the June 13 central bank survey, Bloomberg reports.

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