Friday, August 26, 2016

FT Latam Viva For 26 August, 2016

FINANCIAL TIMES - Latam Viva: Your weekly briefing from the region
Happily ever after?
By Samantha Pearson 
August 26, 2016
Brazilian sports fans can be a fickle lot. One moment they were supporting the Iranians in the Olympics, then the Malaysians, then the Spanish – typically whichever athlete was losing, or better-looking or whoever had the funniest name. In the lead-up to the Games, a Datafolha poll also showed that half of Brazilians opposed holding the Olympics in their country. However, when the event finally came to an end with the closing ceremony on Sunday, many went into mourning, flooding social media with messages of sadness that the athletes were finally going home. Local television channels even ran features on coping with the ‘End-of-the-Olympics-Syndrome’.
Brazil’s political spectacle also neared its end this week with the final stage of the impeachment process against Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s suspended president who is accused of breaking budget laws and widely blamed for the country’s deep recession. Senators began her impeachment trial on Thursday – a process that is expected to lead to her replacement with her centre-right deputy, Michel Temer, by early next week. For investors, at least, it promises to be a happy ending after years of irresponsible fiscal policies and economic interventionism under the Workers’ Party. However, analysts warn that progress on fiscal reforms may still be painfully slow.
Perhaps the most historic ending of all though took place this week in Colombia – or rather in Cuba.
After four years of talks, Colombia’s government and leaders of the Farc guerrilla group finally reached a peace agreement. The deal, which was signed in Havana, ends the half-century civil war that has claimed more than 220,000 lives and displaced almost 7m.  
Iván Márquez, the Farc’s lead negotiator: “We have won the most beautiful of all battles, that of Colombia’s peace.” The agreement must still be ratified by Colombians in a referendum in early October.
In neighbouring Venezuela, though, there is seemingly no happy ending in sight with evidence that ever more are crossing into Colombia illegally in search of food and medicine. One Venezuelan has also reportedly died trying to reach the nearby island of Aruba in a makeshift raft.
The week in review
Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment in Brazil
Senate poised to vote on final phase of installing Michel Temer as president
Farc peace accord may prove hard sell for Colombia’s Santos
Public opinion is split on deal and a referendum could tip the country into unfamiliar territory
Colombia agrees peace deal with Farc rebels
Accord to end long civil war depends on ‘yes’ vote in plebiscite
Venezuela’s decline prompts exodus
Country’s population shrinks as citizens flee humanitarian crisis in the making
Rio Olympics 2016: Brazil bows out with lavish closing ceremony
Chutzpah returns to country battered by economic and political crises
Brazil’s favela kids eye Olympic glory
Slums the source of some of the brightest sporting talent
Eduardo Costantini — making a fortune during economic chaos
Extraordinary investment opportunities arose during the volatility in his native Argentina
Rio Olympics 2016: Brazil football redemption