South America has been a special part of my life for four decades. I have lived many years in Brasil and Peru. I am married to an incredible lady from Argentina. I want to share South America with you.
In the months leading up to the impeachment of Brazil's former president Dilma Rousseff, it looked like the left had left the battlefield. There were some protests by the unions which make up the support base of Ms Rousseff`s Workers' Party but nothing very spirited. Following her removal last week, however, the pace of the protests has suddenly picked up. Masked protesters have made a reappearance and have been clashing with police, recalling the start of the mass demonstrations against the World Cup in 2013 that marked the beginning of the end for Ms Rousseff.
Her replacement, Michel Temer, meanwhile, has been trying to make light of a controversial last-minute twist to the impeachment vote. While the senate voted overwhelmingly to remove Ms Rousseff, a second vote was defeated on whether she should be banned from public office for eight years as required by the constitution. The left is pointing to the split decision as showing a lack of conviction by the senate, proving its point that the impeachment was a farce mounted by corrupt politicians to try to gain power to protect themselves from investigation. Mr Temer and his ruling alliance, meanwhile, have dismissed the split vote as a quirky detail that did not change the outcome.
In Mexico, the fallout continues from an entirely different political drama – the meeting between US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. Finance minister Luis Videgaray, the man who organised the meeting, has resigned amid anger over how Mr Trump used it to underline his demand that Mexico build and pay for a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the US. The departure of Mr Videgaray, who was the architect of an ambitious structural reform programme in Mexico, was followed by the announcement of a new austerity budget for 2017. New finance minister José Antonio Meade is seeking to boost investor confidence following the Trump debacle.
Mexico is also considering a bill if Mr Trump becomes president and fulfills a campaign promise to unilaterally end the North American Free Trade Agreement. The proposal would rip up treaties going back as far as the 1848 deal that transferred half the nation to the US.
Quote of the Week
“It would be one of the most significant events in gaming history if Brazil opens up to the gambling sector” - UK bookmaker William Hill on Brazil considering lifting a 70-year ban on gambling to help raise taxes.
Chart of the Week
Why emerging market bonds are not the answer for the yield-starved.