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.
Brazilians must either be wondering if there is no such thing as a clean politician in their country, or if no one is sacred.
The latest big cheeses to fall prey to Brazil’s giant graft probe were Guido Mantega, former finance minister, was briefly arrested this week, and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who now faces a trial on charges – which he denies - that he received over $1m as the alleged mastermind of the web of bribery and kickbacks.
Mr Mantega was not available for comment on whether he solicited handouts from Brazil’s then richest man to be paid to the then ruling party. He was released after being briefly detained while waiting for his wife to have surgery at a hospital.
The double whammy of having both Lula and Mantega in the spotlight takes the spiralling probe to the heart of the country’s former power base under the presidencies of both Lula and his impeached successor, Dilma Rousseff. All that just as Lula was shaping up to be one of the most popular candidates for the next presidential elections in 2018.
Go big or go home? Buenos Aires is wooing international investors next week as it seeks to sell its first euro-denominated bond in over a decade. That comes just six months after it ended a 15 year market exile by selling a $16.5bn bond, the largest ever from a developing country.
Hear how the Freddy Mercury and Nelson Mandela fan reforming the country is tackling an energy crisis (turning down the heating and putting on a jumper) in Benedict Mander’s fascinating interview.
For a panoramic view of the new Argentina – home to unicorns and fine wines, with untapped energy and farming potential – read the FT’s special report here. But beware – Argentina’s opportunity is also its greatest risk.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s peso took a belting to historic lows this week as the Trump trade kicked in – the fear that the Republican candidate may win the White House and enact policies disastrous to its southern neighbour. But even as the candidate rails against illegal immigration from Mexico, a new report finds it is the number of unlawful arrivals from other countries that is growing.