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Brazil’s ex-president Lula convicted in second corruption case

“Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been convicted for a second time on charges of corruption and money laundering and sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison. Lula was on Wednesday found guilty by a court in the southern city of Curitiba of accepting renovation work by two construction companies on a…

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Mexican economic plan aims to cut migration to the US

“The free zone scheme was introduced last month after President López Obrador announced it at the end of last year. Running the entire length of the 3,180km (1,954 mile) US-Mexican border, and 25km wide, the sales tax inside the area has been halved from 16% to 8%. At the same time, income taxes have been…

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Brazil’s Sergio Moro looks to overhaul crime fighting

“Justice Minister Sergio Moro presented an anti-crime bill Monday that seeks to toughen Brazil’s approach to organized crime, corruption and violence. Key measures include obligating convicts to begin serving their sentences after a first appeal is denied, categorizing militias and drug trafficking gangs as organized criminal groups and cracking down on illegal campaign finance. “We…

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Mexico Posts Record-High Trade Surplus Even After Nafta Redo

“Mexico, which sends the vast majority of its exports to the U.S., saw its surplus soar to $1.8 billion, the most for any month since data has been collected in 1999. Automotive exports rose 7.4 percent from a year earlier to $11.5 billion dollars, while oil-product imports fell 15.5 percent to $1.38 billion.”

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Mexico investigates 3 officials from state oil company

“We can’t tolerate anything that has to do with corruption or even accept suspicions,” he said. Mexico comptroller Irma Erendira Sandoval said that the Pemex officials, including the current head of exploration and production, had signed off on 25 suspicious contracts since 2012. The contracts for technical assistance were subcontracted various times, despite language barring…

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Brazil’s New Congress Starts Friday Already with Controversial Issues

“Among the first issues this new Congress will have to discuss is the social security reform. The reform is considered by President Jair Bolsonaro’s economic team as essential to improve the country’s dismal public accounts. The Bolsonaro administration, however, will have some tough days ahead, with representatives of some categories, such as the military, arguing…

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AMLO slams Fitch ratings agency ‘hypocrisy’ for Pemex downgrade

“At his morning press conference today, López Obrador lambasted Fitch, without citing its name, and other credit ratings for their assessment of the state oil company. “What these organizations do is very hypocritical . . . They allowed the looting [of Pemex], they endorsed the so-called energy reform, they knew that foreign investment didn’t arrive…

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