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Dealflow.la #55 - "El Chapo" Jr. 🇲🇽 extradited to the US 🇺🇸, Guatemala presidential election crisis 🇬🇹, Maduro's 🇻🇪 risky cinematic gamble, & Mottu 🇧🇷 raises $50M Bicycle 🇺🇸 led Series C.
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Fretadão 🇧🇷 raised $10 Million in Debt Financing from EXT Capital 🇧🇷 to build a charter tracking application designed to revolutionize urban mobility. The company's application brings passengers closer to their charters, with real-time search and location services, enabling users to find a suitable mode of transport to get to their destination.
Nagro 🇧🇷 raised a $49 Million Venture round led by Oasis Ventures 🇧🇷 and Kinea Investimentos 🇧🇷 to deliver fair loans directly to farmers in minutes and develop a financial ecosystem for the agribusiness value chain, enabling farmers to get loans on time and at a reasonable interest rate.
Mottu 🇧🇷 raised a $50 Million Series C led by QED Investors 🇺🇸 and Bicycle Capital 🇺🇸 with funding from Caravela Capital 🇧🇷 and Endeavor Catalyst 🇺🇸 to provide motorcycle rental services intended to assist delivery people. The company's services include a logistics platform that takes care of all maintenance services and does not require a guarantor to rent bikes, enabling people to avail of the desired services.
Argentina faces a severe cost-of-living crisis as inflation hits a staggering 124% in August, the highest since 1991, exacerbating poverty and anger towards the traditional political class ahead of the October elections. Consumers scramble daily to find affordable options amidst skyrocketing prices. The central bank forecasts an end-year inflation above 169%, escalating from a previous estimate of 141%. The ongoing economic turmoil, coupled with currency devaluation and business uncertainties, is fueling citizens' frustrations and potentially benefiting outsider presidential candidate, Javier Milei.
Billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian, Argentina's fourth-richest person and former employer of libertarian presidential candidate Javier Milei, openly supports Milei's candidacy but opposes his policy of dollarising Argentina's economy to tackle chronic inflation. Eurnekian emphasizes a return to orthodox economic policies instead. Eurnekian and Milei maintain a close personal relationship, with several former employees of Eurnekian occupying top positions in Milei's team. Critics argue this relationship contradicts Milei's pledge to combat Argentina's existing political class. (FT)
Javier Milei, Argentina's presidential frontrunner, captivated Buenos Aires' elite at a recent event at the Alvear Palace hotel, sharply contrasting with the lukewarm reception for his chief rival Patricia Bullrich. Milei's growing influence hints at changing dynamics in the upcoming October 22 elections. (Bloomberg)
Uruguay and Argentina are experiencing contrasting economic trajectories. While Uruguay, boasting strong institutions and political stability, enjoys its lowest inflation rate since 2005 and a robust currency, Argentina grapples with soaring inflation and economic recession. Uruguay anticipates further economic rebound in 2024, distancing itself from Argentina's economic instability, once a significant influence on its economy.
In Argentina, presidential candidate Javier Milei's youthful volunteer team is using TikTok, memes, and endorsements from high-profile figures like Elon Musk to boost his campaign. They create viral content, including clips and cartoons, to engage voters ahead of the October 22nd election. Milei's online prominence, especially on TikTok, is challenging traditional politics, garnering him substantial support among citizens frustrated with the current economic situation. His radical economic proposals and direct style are resonating both locally and globally, setting a new tone in Argentina's electoral battle. (Reuters)
Brazil initiates trials for pro-Bolsonaro rioters involved in the January 8 capital storming, aiming to reject coup attempts and election-related violence. The prosecution underscores Brazil's commitment to constitutional norms and condemns efforts to seize power through violence. (Al Jazeera)
Brazil's President Lula warns the UN of a potential coup in Guatemala, fearing the overturning of recent election results, which prompts a rebuke from Guatemala's outgoing President Giammattei who asserts a peaceful power transition and condemns foreign interference. This controversy occurs amidst US concerns about democracy undermining efforts in Guatemala and legal actions against president-elect Bernardo Arevalo and his Seed Movement party, igniting protests and calls for the defense of election integrity in Guatemala. (Al Jazeera)
Uber plans to appeal a Brazilian court's decision that fined the company $205 million for improper labor relations with its drivers. The Sao Paulo state court mandated Uber to officially acknowledge its drivers as employees and register their professional work cards, with a penalty for non-compliance. The lawsuit, initiated in November 2021, alleged that Uber's control over drivers signifies an employment relationship. Uber cites "evident legal uncertainty" and intends to exhaust all possible legal resources before complying with the orders. (Reuters)
Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras aims to become a leading wind power developer, announcing projects for offshore wind farms and pursuing a license for projects across 10 areas with a combined capacity of 23 GW. Collaborating with motor manufacturer WEG SA, Petrobras is investing 130 million reais ($26.8 million) over 25 months in a 7-MW onshore wind turbine, with production expected by 2025. This initiative marks Petrobras' renewed commitment to renewable energy, enhancing Brazil's wind power sector amidst a decline in domestic turbine production. (Reuters)
Brazil formally requests U.S. aid in investigations involving ex-President Jair Bolsonaro, concerning allegations including falsified vaccination records and sale of pricey jewels. The probe follows Bolsonaro's ex-aide Mauro Cid's cooperation with Brazilian authorities, potentially corroborating claims and using evidence in court. Bolsonaro denies all accusations. (Reuters/US News)
During a visit to Cuba, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva condemned the U.S.'s continued economic embargo on Cuba, terming it "illegal," and criticized Cuba's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. These comments precede Lula's scheduled meeting with President Biden at the UN General Assembly. Lula urged for the fulfillment of promised investments by developed nations to mitigate climate change effects, highlighting the differentiated responsibilities and urging guaranteed climate funds for developing nations. (Reuters)
Chile's finance minister, Mario Marcel, indicates the nation's hard economic adjustments, including combating high inflation and overheated expansion, are nearing completion, with expected inflation reducing to 4% by December. The central bank's aggressive interest rate cuts support these adjustments. Despite recent economic setbacks, including a slowdown in the Chinese economy, a key trading partner, Chile foresees sustained strong demand for its primary export, copper, fueled by global shifts towards electro-mobility. Marcel emphasized Chile's open economic stance, not favoring any side in trade partnerships. (Bloomberg/Yahoo)
Colombia's President Gustavo Petro acknowledged cocaine as one of the nation's top exports, potentially surpassing oil, and emphasized a desire for a more productive Colombian economy on social media platform X. (Bloomberg)
Colombia's government and the largest FARC dissident group, Estado Mayor Central (EMC), announced peace talks beginning on October 8, with a simultaneous 10-month bilateral national ceasefire. This move is a part of President Gustavo Petro's efforts to resolve the country's longstanding armed conflict. (Reuters/US News)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Growing violence disturbs Costa Rica's long-standing peace, driven by escalating cocaine trade and socioeconomic disparities. Increasingly, locals, including youth, are ensnared in the drug trade, triggering a surge in violent crimes and homicide rates. Traditional demilitarization and societal values are challenged as the government scrambles to curb the destabilizing narco influence without a military force, stirring apprehension amidst the populace. This upheaval threatens the country's prosperous tourism industry and the future of Costa Rica's younger generation, many of whom find themselves trapped in a cycle of crime and poverty, reflecting a broader regional struggle with drug trafficking and its consequences. (LA Times)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic closes all borders with Haiti amidst a contentious canal project tapping a shared river. As military forces patrol, concerns rise over potential economic impacts, strained relations, and a surge in illegal crossings and human trafficking. The unilateral move by President Abinader, who faces re-election, has been criticized as an overreaction. (ABC)
The body of Ecuadorian gang leader, Junior Roldán, was stolen from a Colombian cemetery, where he was buried after being killed in May. Roldán was involved with notorious prison gang, Los Choneros, linked with significant criminal activities and the Sinaloa cartel. Police are investigating the incident. (BBC)
Thousands rallied in Guatemala City to support President-elect Bernardo Arevalo amidst threats against his recent election victory. Arevalo, who campaigned against corruption, denounced political establishments attempting to undermine his win. U.S. Ambassador Francisco Mora criticized the Guatemalan government's "anti-democratic behavior". Arevalo plans to file a complaint to the Supreme Court, alleging election interference. (Al Jazeera)
Thousands in Guatemala block roads supporting president-elect Arévalo against attempts to ban his Seed Movement party. Protesters demand the resignation of prosecutors investigating alleged election fraud, denounced as evidence-lacking by international observers. Arévalo urges Attorney General Porras' resignation, halting transition processes temporarily. Critics view prosecutors' actions as efforts to prevent or weaken Arévalo's presidency. (AP)
Mexico extradited Ovidio Guzmán López, "El Chapo" Guzmán's son, to the US for drug trafficking charges, said US Attorney General Merrick Garland. This follows Guzmán's violent January arrest in Culiacán and recent indictments against him and his brothers for expanding the cartel's synthetic drug operations. (CBS)
Ferromex, Mexico's largest freight train company, halts 60 U.S. border routes due to "unprecedented" numbers of migrants hitching rides, seeking to prevent accidents and loss of life following several incidents. This suspension marks the first of its kind for the company. (NBC)
Mexico's president, López Obrador, defends the participation of Russian soldiers in the recent Independence parade amidst criticism, highlighting Mexico's diplomatic relations and neutrality stance. The inclusion of the Russian contingent has drawn ire, particularly due to Russia's ongoing conflict with Ukraine. (ABC)
Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla and attorney William Riley Jr. arrested on bribery and money laundering charges, denying accusations and alleging political motivation behind the charges. (ABC)
Paraguay, Taiwan's last ally in South America, is open to Chinese investments for developing its emerging green hydrogen industry, eyeing a role as a regional fertilizer supplier, says Finance Minister Carlos Fernandez. The nation aims to utilize its abundant water and renewable energy resources for this venture, potentially paving the way for further economic growth and rate cuts amidst subsiding inflation. (Bloomberg)
In response to escalating crime, Peruvian President Dina Boluarte declared a state of emergency in three districts, enabling military assistance in maintaining security. This measure, initiating a frontal fight against crime, suspends certain civil rights and comes after significant increases in criminal incidents, including recent grenade attacks in San Juan leaving 15 injured. (Reuters)
Venezuela has protested Guyana's offshore oil block auctions, claiming the areas are subject to international border disputes. Guyana, which received bids from companies like Exxon Mobil, asserts its right to economic development in its territory. The US urged Venezuela to respect the International Court of Justice's jurisdiction over the matter. (Reuters)
A UN-backed panel reports increasing efforts by the Venezuelan government to suppress democratic freedoms through threats, surveillance, and harassment ahead of the 2024 elections. President Nicolás Maduro's administration has intensified targeted repression against civil society members, including politicians and journalists, amidst Maduro's re-election campaign. The panel documented several human rights violations, including arbitrary executions and detainment from January 2020 to August 2023. This clampdown may potentially influence the forthcoming primary elections, where leading opposition candidates have been barred from participation. (ABC)
Nicolás Maduro permits the screening of "Simón", a film illustrating the 2017 state-led violence against protesters, across Venezuela, anticipating limited viewership. This move, showcasing his regime's dark period, has confused critics and audiences. (Bloomberg)
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