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Dealflow.la #49 - Colombian President’s son 🇨🇴 ‘won’t last’ in jail per his lawyer, Apple Pay 🇺🇸 expands to Chile 🇨🇱, insufficient rainfall to cause Panama Canal 🇵🇦 income to dry up.
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Zhana Solutions 🇨🇴 raised a $1.2 Million Seed round with funding from Asiri 🇨🇴 to build an environmental service platform for the purpose of industrial waste management. The company provides an automatic grease waste collection machine that collects solid traps, contains automatic separators, and removes odor, enabling people to mitigate water contamination and create awareness about environmental benefits.
ConfiAbogado 🇲🇽 raised a $1.7 Million Seed round led by Tuesday Capital 🇺🇸 with funding from Side Door Ventures 🇺🇸, Seedstars 🇨🇭, Invariantes Fund 🇬🇹, Goodwater Capital 🇺🇸, GAIN Capital 🇺🇸, 500 Global 🇺🇸 to build an artificial intelligence-based platform designed to connect clients who need accessible legal services with verified lawyers. The company's platform offers the ability to attend to more cases, and the possibility of finding legal services at affordable prices, enabling lawyers to get proper tools for efficient service delivery and clients to get easier access to quality legal services.
Speedbird Aero 🇧🇷 raised a $2 Million venture round led by MSW Capital 🇧🇷 to build an aerospace engineering company intended to provide drone logistics solutions. The company specializes in unmanned aircraft systems development for logistics and delivery of products and medicines, enabling businesses to have a faster and unmanned delivery system.
Fiibo 🇧🇷 raised a $3.7 Million Seed round led by Headline 🇺🇸 with funding from Vox Capital 🇧🇷 to build a health and wellness benefits platform intended to simplify, democratize and connect people's access to the health and wellness market. The company connects employees to a variety of products and services like telemedicine, nutrition, health plans, dentistry, aesthetic procedures, vaccines, consultation packages, medications, and exams.
Educbank 🇧🇷 raised $20 Million in Debt Financing from Jive Investments 🇧🇷 to provide financial support to educational institutions in the form of sponsorships and subsidies basis the public, academic, and satisfaction data of the school, enabling institutions to grow and innovate in unprecedented ways.
Buenos Aires, Argentina experienced its hottest start to August in 117 years, with temperatures reaching 30.1°C (86°F) on Tuesday, according to the country's National Meteorological Service. This temperature exceeded the previous record set in 1942 by over five degrees. Such warmth during the Southern Hemisphere's winter is unusual, with the last occurrence in 2014. The country's usual median temperature for August stands at 18°C (64.4°F). Cindy Fernández from the Meteorological Service noted that this winter has been warmer overall, with few cold events. The hottest spot was Rivadavia, recording 37.2°C (98°F). (NBC)
Argentina is grappling with soaring inflation, exceeding 100%, causing the nation's currency value to plummet rapidly. Residents like Inez Marchesin, upon receiving their pay, rush to convert pesos into U.S. dollars, stashing them in safe deposit boxes rather than bank accounts. When required, they revert dollars back to the increasingly worthless pesos, which they then spend immediately given the constant price hikes. Such behavior, where individuals rush to spend before further depreciation, fuels the inflationary cycle. Experts warn of the dire consequences of unchecked inflation, as witnessed in Zimbabwe in 2008. Already, Argentina faces increasing poverty, homelessness, and emigration. (NPR)
In July, Bolivia revealed a discovery of 2 million tonnes of lithium, elevating their total to 23 million tonnes, the highest globally. Together with Chile and Argentina, these countries control over half of the world's lithium resources, crucial for electronic components and electric batteries. However, there's a difference between "resources" and "reserves", the latter being economically minable quantities. In 2021, Bolivia's lithium production was only 543 tons, dwarfed by Australia's 550,000 tons. Bolivia's challenges include lack of infrastructure, political instability, and geographical constraints. Still, a partnership with China's battery producer could make Bolivia a lithium hub, but it faces stiff competition from established global players. (Forbes)
Brazil is hosting a summit with leaders from eight Amazon rainforest nations to address challenges facing the critical ecosystem, particularly deforestation. This comes after Brazil's President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, pledged to end Amazon deforestation by 2030. The Amazon plays a vital role as a carbon sink, but deforestation threatens its efficacy in mitigating climate change. Major threats to the rainforest include cattle ranching, soybean farming, illegal logging, mining, oil drilling, and environmental neglect. Discussions at the summit will center on combating deforestation, organized crime, and promoting sustainable development. Rights groups urge for a commitment to halt deforestation and bolster Indigenous rights. (Al Jazeera)
Brazil's latest national Indigenous census reveals a count of 1.7 million people, an 89% increase from the previous census in 2010. Minister of Indigenous People Sonia Guajajara attributes this jump to better survey methods and a greater willingness to recognize Indigenous roots. This announcement comes as Belem, Brazil, prepares to host the Amazon Summit, where leaders from nine countries in the Amazon Cooperation Treaty will discuss challenges facing the region, including deforestation, illegal mining, and Indigenous rights. (AP)
Police raids targeting drug gangs across three Brazilian states, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Bahia, have left at least 45 people dead. In Rio, 10 were killed in a shootout at the Complexo da Penha area. São Paulo's Operation Shield resulted in 16 deaths, and in Bahia, 19 suspects were killed. The operations also led to 58 arrests and the seizure of narcotics and guns. Some criticized the police's actions as disproportionate. (BBC)
Mining company Vale lost its attempt to block BHP Group's bid to share potential liability in a £36 billion London lawsuit over Brazil's largest environmental disaster. Over 720,000 Brazilians are suing BHP for the 2015 Fundao Dam collapse, operated by the Samarco joint venture between BHP and Vale. The disaster resulted in 19 deaths and extensive environmental damage. BHP wants Vale to share any liability, while Vale challenged the London court's jurisdiction. Judge O'Farrell upheld BHP's claim, aligning it with the claimants' case against BHP. (Reuters)
Apple Pay has expanded its services to Chile, allowing users to add debit and credit cards to their devices for mobile payments. This move follows recent rumors and brief appearances of the service in the country. The launch in Chile comes shortly after Apple Pay's introduction in Vietnam and its 2023 expansion to countries like El Salvador and Honduras. Apple Pay debuted in South America in 2018 in Brazil. Chilean banks set to support Apple Pay include Santander, Banco de Chile, and Scotiabank, among others. (9to5mac)
Colombian President Gustavo Petro, inaugurated as the nation's first leftist leader, faces plummeting approval ratings after one year in office. Petro's ambitious goals to end internal violence and combat inequalities have been impeded by a fragmented congress and ongoing rebel conflicts. Furthermore, a campaign finance scandal involving his eldest son has considerably weakened his government. Petro's son, Nicolas, admitted to accepting funds from a drug trafficker for the presidential campaign, though the president denies any knowledge of the source. Analysts now question Petro's ability to enact significant legislative reforms during his tenure. (AP)
Nicolás Petro, son of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, faces charges of money laundering and illicit enrichment, leading to concerns over the financing of Gustavo Petro's 2022 election campaign. Both the defense and prosecution advocate for Nicolás's house arrest during the investigation. Allegations stem from accusations by Nicolás's ex-wife, Daysuris "Day" Vásquez, suggesting illegal campaign donations. This scandal could significantly impact President Gustavo Petro's already waning popularity, amidst other criticisms of his administration's efforts towards peace and previous campaign finance controversies. The president reaffirms his commitment to fighting corruption and continuing his presidential agenda. (Al Jazeera)
Colombia will open three "safe mobility" sites to process migrants from Haiti, Venezuela, and Cuba aiming for the US. This effort, sponsored by the Biden administration, seeks to reduce irregular border crossings into the US. While some praise the initiative, others criticize it as "border externalization," suggesting the US is shifting its responsibilities onto other countries. Amid fluctuating border crossing rates, migration remains a contentious issue in the US. (Al Jazeera)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Saudi Arabia plans to establish an embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, intensifying the resumed diplomatic relations of the past eight years. The announcement was made during Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih's visit to Costa Rica. The two countries aim to strengthen ties, especially in trade, environment, and cooperation. Costa Rica, known for ecotourism and medical tourism, anticipates investments from Saudi Arabia in infrastructure, energy, and agriculture. The move marks a step in Costa Rica's efforts to rebuild ties with Middle Eastern countries after a decades-long hiatus. (Arab News)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
Could El Salvador’s gang crackdown spread across Latin America? El Salvador's aggressive anti-gang measures, which saw over 70,000 people imprisoned without due process, are gaining attention and admiration in neighboring countries. Despite concerns about civil liberties and allegations of abuse, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele's tactics have been praised by politicians in Honduras and Guatemala as worth emulating. In Honduras, even left-wing President Xiomara Castro, who originally advocated demilitarizing the country's security system, has since launched a crackdown echoing El Salvador's approach. Experts highlight that while these policies may provide a temporary reprieve from crime, they often divert public attention to other pressing concerns like economic issues. Furthermore, the historical backdrop of Central America suggests that suspending democratic rights to combat crime can lead to long-term abuses of power and human rights violations. (Al Jazeera)
Mexico's government has reversed its decision to expedite the repayment of $4.2 billion in bonds that were used to finance a partially completed airport near Mexico City, which was later canceled. Originally intended to relieve stress on the city's older airport, the Texcoco project was terminated by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador shortly after his election in 2018 due to concerns about its cost and allegations of corruption. While an initial amount of $1.8 billion out of the total $6 billion in bonds was paid off, the government now plans to follow the previously established repayment schedule for the remaining long-term bonds. (Investing.com)
Members of the investigation team probing the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in Mexico have detailed facing years of obstruction from military and law enforcement. During their eight-year search, they encountered false leads and even evidence of torture, reflecting a complex and stressful inquiry. (Al Jazeera)
Mexico is witnessing a surge in fentanyl overdoses, especially in border communities. Despite long-standing issues in the U.S., the Mexican government denies an opioid crisis. Affected individuals face stigma and inadequate public health support, raising concerns about addressing this growing problem. (Al Jazeera)
Lionel Messi's arrival at Inter Miami has proven transformative, with the team winning four consecutive games since his debut. In a thrilling match against FC Dallas, Messi scored twice, aiding in a dramatic comeback from 4-2 down with 10 minutes remaining, pushing the game to penalties. Miami triumphed 5-3 in the shootout. Though elated, Miami's manager, Gerardo Martino, emphasized the need for improvement. Before Messi, Miami had an 11-match winless streak. His contribution includes a remarkable seven goals in just four games. Inter Miami now progresses to the Leagues Cup quarter-finals, a tournament involving U.S. and Mexican clubs. (BBC)
Due to insufficient rainfall, the Panama Canal has restricted the number of ships to 32 daily, down from 36-38. This could lead to a potential $200 million income drop in 2024, as stated by canal administrator Ricaurte Vásquez. The drought has affected the watershed system essential for both the canal's locks and Panama City's freshwater supply. Prior to these constraints, a revenue of approximately $4.9 billion was anticipated for the next year. (AP)
Panama's Immigration Service Director, Samira Gozaine, criticized Colombia for its lack of support in curbing the increasing flow of migrants through the perilous Darien Gap. Despite a trilateral agreement between the U.S., Panama, and Colombia to tackle smuggling rings, Gozaine claims Colombia hasn't shared information or taken joint action. Migrant numbers have surged, with up to 2,800 daily crossings compared to 700 daily in 2022. The Colombian government hasn't responded to these accusations. (AP)
Uruguayan drug lord, Sebastián Marset, threatened journalists from Uruguayan outlet Telenoche using a Falklands' chip phone. The same number had previously denied Marset's involvement in Marcelo Pecci's assassination. Journalists across Uruguay and Bolivia received threats, prompting official guarantees of journalist safety. (MP)
Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly plans to propose an extension on the validity of defaulted bonds, aiming for debt restructuring. This comes after U.S. sanctions against President Maduro's administration, which lacks recognition from Washington, hindering earlier debt proposals from the government. (Reuters)
Venezuela's Supreme Court dismissed Red Cross president, Mario Enrique Villarroel, after four decades, citing "harassment and ill-treatment" allegations. The board was also sacked. Despite showing support for Villarroel, the charity faces restructuring. The International Red Cross has requested non-interference from President Maduro's government. (BBC)
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