Tag Archives: South American

Lima: Where the pallbearers are black

Elegant in tuxedos and white gloves, the six black pallbearers silently and gracefully remove the mahogany coffin bearing a Lima tire magnate from his mansion. They slide it into the Cadillac hearse that will parade Jorge Reyna’s body through the Chorrillos district where he was once mayor.

The pallbearers are in the job precisely because of the color of their skin, a phenomenon unique to this South American capital that was the regional seat of Spain’s colonial empire for more than three centuries. In fact, prominent citizens such as Reyna, a widely respected, charitable man of indigenous origin who died at age 82, request black pallbearers for their funerals.

“He planned his funeral and wanted it to be elegant,” said Reyna’s widow, Clarisa Velarde.

Blacks routinely bear the caskets of ex-presidents, mining magnates and bankers to their tombs in Lima. The peculiar tradition exists neither in provincial Peruvian cities nor in other Latin American countries with significant black populations such as Brazil, Panama and Colombia.

It is not a profession chosen by Lima’s blacks but is rather thrust upon them by a lack of opportunity, say Afro-Peruvian scholars. And racism remains so deeply ingrained in Peru that many don’t consider the practice discriminatory.

“Beyond the question of racism or prejudice, I think it is simply a question of employment,” said Jose Campos, a leading Peruvian black studies scholar and vice rector of the National Education University.

For 61-year-old Armando Arguedas, who like his fellow pallbearers never finished elementary school, it’s simply a job.

“Some people are friendly,” he said of those who employ him. “Some don’t even say thank you.”

Black pallbearers were even used for the recent funeral of the wife of former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar.

“We were never treated better,” said Arguedas. “The family members thanked us and paid us triple.”

Blacks are all but absent from Peru’s business and political elite and although slavery was abolished in 1854, only 2 percent of Peru’s blacks go to college. Afro-Peruvians are consigned largely to manual labor including as field hands in sugar cane plantations along the nation’s Pacific coast.

Census-takers don’t even register …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Chevron and YPF sign $1.5 billion shale oil deal

Argentina’s state-controlled YPF oil company has persuaded Chevron Corp. to sign a long-sought deal to invest $1.24 billion developing the South American country’s shale oil deposits.

The joint venture adds up to $1.5 billion overall, the first major foreign oil investment in Argentina since President Cristina Fernandez seized control of YPF from Spain’s Grupo Repsol last year.

YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio and Chevron CEO John Watson presented it Tuesday night to the president, who granted special privileges this week to any oil company investing more than a billion dollars in new shale ventures.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Report: Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted

By Brandon Turkus

Filed under:

Formula E, the open-wheel EV racing series has finalized the calendar for its inaugural season. Set to kick of in 2014, the races looks like to have been distributed quite evenly across the globe.

Two American races (LA and Miami) along with a pair of South American races in Rio and Buenos Aires round out the contests in the New World. London, Berlin and Rome make up the European leg of the championship, while Beijing, Bangkok and Putrajaya cover Asia.

This news follows a report from Autoweek that Formula E is courting some of the top Formula One teams. According to AW, series organizer Alejandro Agag is already in talks with McLaren, and is of the opinion that one day the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull will take part in the emissions free series.

Despite the current lack of big names, the parts of the Formula E cars look promising. Batteries from Williams are mated to electric motors from McLaren, while Dallara provides the chassis. Like F1, there’s only one tire supplier, although we’re happy to announce it’s Michelin rather than Pirelli. Series test driver Lucas di Grassi showed us just what the FE cars can do with an in-car video a few months ago.

As for drivers, we don’t see Sebastien Vettel leaving his gas-powered racer soon. Formula E could see an influx of retired F1 drivers and GP2 veterans, although Agag told Autoweek “I can’t say any names yet.” The series will kickoff in 2014, in the Italian capital of Rome.

Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Argentina: Evidence of spying given to prosecutor

Argentina’s foreign minister says a who’s-who of leading figures in Argentine politics have been victims of espionage, and he has the evidence to prove it.

Hector Timerman says he was handed an envelope at last week’s Mercosur meeting with a list of more than 100 Argentine politicians, Cabinet ministers, diplomats and journalists that included their email usernames and secret passwords. On Monday, he handed the list over to Argentina’s top prosecutor for criminal investigation.

Timerman did not name names, but said a high-ranking official who was part of the summit gave documents to him as well as a third country’s official.

South American leaders condemned spying by the U.S. government, which admits collecting internet records worldwide but says it doesn’t read emails unless it needs to for national security reasons.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Venezuelan president shuffles Cabinet

Newly elected Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has shuffled his Cabinet, putting allies of late president Hugo Chavez in positions to tackle pressing problems including widespread power outages and double-digit inflation.

Maduro tapped Jesse Chacon to take charge of government initiatives aimed at upgrading Venezuela‘s power grid, which has been plagued with problems stemming from lack of investment and maintenance.

Many Venezuelans are fed up with blackouts that have been occurring for years around the South American country.

Maduro also announced late Sunday that Nelson Merentes, who had served as president of the central bank, would take the helm at the finance ministry.

Merentes will face the daunting task of reducing inflation, which reached topped 20 percent last year.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/aRaUgF-oFUQ/

Conservatives likely to retake power in Paraguay

Paraguay is poised to elect as its new president a conservative candidate from the party that backed strongman Alfredo Stroessner during 35 years of iron rule, returning the executive branch to the wealthy interests that have traditionally dominated this poor South American nation despite the election of a leftist ex-bishop in 2008.

Sunday’s vote is also an important milestone in Paraguay‘s attempt to regain the international acceptance it lost when neighboring nations objected to the fast-track removal of President Fernando Lugo. The expedited impeachment of Lugo last year conformed to Paraguay‘s constitution but was criticized by its neighbors as an “institutional coup” that threatened democracies around the region.

Regional blocs such as Mercosur suspended Paraguay‘s membership following Lugo’s ouster, but all signs indicate that Paraguay‘s neighbors will re-engage the country after the election to replace Federico Franco, who served out Lugo’s term and is not eligible to seek a new one.

Most polls indicate that tobacco magnate and soccer executive Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party, which held power for 61 years before losing to Lugo at the polls, will win handily over his chief rival, Sen. Efrain Alegre of Franco’s Liberal Party.

A handful of candidates trail them, including Anibal Carrillo of the leftist Guasu Front coalition led by Lugo, who is seeking to return to politics as a senator.

A presidential candidate can be declared winner with a plurality, and there is no runoff.

Some likened the vote to the 2009 presidential election in Honduras that gave other nations reason to re-embrace the Central American country five months after President Manuel Zelaya was grabbed by soldiers while still in his pajamas and flown to Costa Rica.

“The election in Honduras ultimately was important,” said Gregory Weeks, a political scientist specializing in Latin America at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “It was contested and there might have been controversy, but what it did was it got the country sufficiently past the crisis to allow it to be accepted by all the rest of the region again.”

Whoever wins in Paraguay will have to deal with problems that have been endemic for decades in this landlocked nation of about 6.2 million people, most notably the yawning gulf between the haves and have-nots.

Paraguay is South America’s No. 3 producer of soy,

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/h9F-0S00j3Y/

Oklahoma man missing in Oregon was hallucinating, sheriff says

The sheriff heading up the search for a young Oklahoma man missing in the wilds of southeastern Oregon said Friday the young man was hallucinating the last time he telephoned his family, and told his girlfriend he was seeing plants coming out of the ground and running.

Dustin Self, 19, has been missing a month since setting out from his family home outside Oklahoma City to test himself against the wilderness. He had recently watched the movie “Into The Wild” about a young man who renounces his worldly goods to live in the Alaska wilderness, only to die there. Self had also bought a lot of backpacking gear and planned to check out churches in Oregon that practice a South American religion that uses a hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament.

Sheriff Dave Glerup said he thinks Self is either dead or walked off Steens Mountain and hitched a ride somewhere after his truck got stuck on a backcountry track. With high winds over the mountain and heavy snow on the ground, there was no search planned for Friday. Searchers hoped a break in the weather Saturday would allow planes to fly over the mountain.

“There is evidence now he was hallucinating at the time he talked with his father,” Glerup said from his office in Burns. “His father says that the young man had been using drugs in the past,” and was using drugs to treat attention deficit disorder to stay awake on his drive to Oregon.

“There is evidence he may have been either under the influence of drugs or sleep deprivation at the time he called his father” to report he was lost, the sheriff said, while also referencing Self’s conversation with his girlfriend.

Investigators also found on Self’s laptop that he had been visiting websites about hallucinogenic drugs such as peyote and PCP, Glerup said.

Self’s parents said he was interested in the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen, in Ashland, and the Church of the Divine Rose in Portland, which practice a religion that blends Christian theology with indigenous beliefs from Brazil. The church has gone to court to defend its use of a hallucinogenic tea imported from Brazil, called ayahuasca, which is used as a sacrament.

Jane Seligson, a founding member of the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen, said neither church had ever heard from Self.

“I can tell you we never heard from this young man,” she said. “He might have said he was going to contact people from the church. He never contacted anybody. We have quite a rigorous process for anybody coming to church.”

A short break in windy weather on Thursday allowed a rancher with a helicopter to search the rugged mountainside where Self’s truck was found. However, rancher Patty Jenkins found no trace of Self around some cabins used by cowboys and hunters uphill from where the truck was found, and no tracks in the fresh snow, Glerup said. Self’s lime-green tent was nowhere to be seen.

Self’s pickup was found Monday at about the

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/Dv0Rkj1mT9s/

Ore. sheriff: Missing Okla. man was hallucinating

The sheriff heading up the search for a young Oklahoma man missing in the wilds of southeastern Oregon says the young man was hallucinating the last time he telephoned his family.

He also said he was seeing plants coming out of the ground and running in a call to his girlfriend.

Nineteen-year-old Dustin Self has been missing a month since setting out from his family home outside Oklahoma City to test himself against the wilderness.

He also planned to check out churches that practice a South American religion that uses a hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament.

Sheriff Dave Glerup said Friday he thinks Self is either dead or walked off Steens Mountain and hitched a ride somewhere after his truck got stuck on a backcountry track.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/X2stPeddCAs/

Election council to audit vote in Venezuela

Venezuela‘s electoral council says it will audit the 46 percent of the vote not scrutinized on election night, a surprise concession that opposition candidate Henrique Capriles says will prove that he won the presidency.

“We are where we want to be,” a satisfied but cautious-looking Capriles told a news conference after the Thursday night announcement. “I think I will have the universe of voters needed to get where I want to be.”

Capriles had demanded a full vote-by-vote recount but said he accepted the National Electoral Council‘s ruling, which marked a surprising turnabout for President-elect Nicolas Maduro, whose socialist government had a day earlier looked to be digging in its heels.

The late President Hugo Chavez‘s heir is being inaugurated on Friday and was in Lima, Peru, on Thursday night for an emergency meeting of South American leaders to discuss his country’s electoral crisis.

The meeting began late and it was not clear whether any of the continent’s other leaders — Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff wields the most influence — had pressured Maduro to accept the audit.

Capriles ducked the question when asked by an Associated Press reporter for his explanation of the concession.

In a declaration released after the 3 1/2-hour meeting, the South American presidents asked “all parties who participated in the election to respect the official results” and said they “took positive note” of the electoral council’s audit decision.

Maduro, in a Twitter message, proclaimed the meeting a “great success.”

“Complete support for the people and democracy of Venezuela,” Maduro continued. “Thank you South America! I await you in Caracas.”

Maduro had never rejected the audit publicly, and it was possible pressure from the military or more moderate members of his ruling clique were a factor. Maduro heads a faction believed to be more radical.

The so-called Chavistas control all the levers of power in Venezuela, so the electoral council’s decision can only be seen as having the government‘s imprimatur.

A petition to halt Maduro’s inauguration had been rejected earlier Thursday by the country’s highest court.

Opposition supporters

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/lvvt2GDwezI/

Election council to audit vote in Venezuela's presidential election

Venezuela‘s electoral council said Thursday it would audit the 46 percent vote that was not scrutinized on election night in a concession to opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who said he was accepting the decision because he believed the stolen votes that cost him the presidency are the unaudited.

Capriles had demanded a full vote-by-vote recount but said he could live with the National Electoral Council‘s ruling, which appeared to mark a turnaround for President-elect Nicolas Maduro, whose government had looked all week to be digging in its heels.

“We know where the problems are,” Capriles said, referring to the votes cast in the 12,000 voting machines that council President Tibisay Lucena said would be audited beginning next week and would take a month to complete.

Capriles said he will insist that every single vote receipt be counted and compared to voter registries as well as to voting machine tally sheets. In announcing the audit, council president Tibisay Lucena did not say whether it would do that. Venezuela‘s electronic voting system emits receipts for every ballot that are boxed up with the tally machines.

Maduro, Chavez’s anointed successor, is being inaugurated on Friday and was in Lima, Peru, on Thursday night for an emergency meeting of South American leaders called to discuss the Venezuelan crisis.

He won of Sunday’s election by a slim 260,000-vote margin out of 14.9 million ballots cast after squandering a double-digit lead in the polls as Venezuelans upset by a troubled economy, rampant crime, food shortages and worsening power outages turned away from a candidate they considered a poor imitation of the charismatic leader for whom he long served as foreign minister.

Capriles maintains the vote was stolen from him through intimidation and other abuses and presented a long list of abuses.

No international election monitors were scrutinizing the vote.

Lucena’s announcement seemed a clear turnaround from a government that has a stranglehold on all state institutions and had waged a crackdown on protest all week and followed the Supreme Court chief’s announcement on Wednesday that the full recount Capriles demanded was not legal.

Maduro was sworn in as acting president after Chavez died last month after a long fight with cancer.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/I3FW9IXKzg0/

Air search finds no trace of missing Okla. man

A short break in windy weather on Thursday allowed a rancher with a helicopter to search a rugged mountainside in southeastern Oregon for a young Oklahoma man who set out to test himself against the wilderness.

However, rancher Patty Jenkins saw no trace of Dustin Self, who was last heard from a month ago after being inspired by the movie “Into The Wild.” Self’s lime green tent was not visible, either.

Self’s pickup truck was found Monday on the northeast flank of Steens Mountain. Jenkins flew over the area and five nearby cabins used by hunters and cowboys.

Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup said rescuers hope to mount another air search on Saturday, when high winds are forecast to subside.

Self, 19, left his family home in the Oklahoma City suburb of Piedmont to see if he could live in the wild and to investigate some churches that practice a South American religion that uses a hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament, his parents said.

One of the churches is in Ashland, and the other in Portland.

“I’m just so worried about him,” said Tammy Self, his mother.

Members of the sheriff’s office and others searched for Self on the side of Steens Mountain after a rancher found his pickup truck had slid off a backcountry track and gotten stuck.

Searchers on ATVs saw no tracks but checked out remote cabins and worked their way up the mountain. They discovered no sign of Self before bad weather curtailed their efforts, Deputy Missy Ousley said.

The teen was well-prepared with gear he bought just before leaving, but he has little experience in the wild beyond family camping trips, his parents said.

“He is not a survivalist,” said his father, Victor Self, a manager at a box plant in Oklahoma City. “He is a very urban child.”

His parents last heard from him March 15, when he called from the parking lot of a motel in northern Nevada as he spent the night in the cab of his pickup.

The next day, Self called his girlfriend

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/izmZJFjFT1o/

Oklahoma teen inspired by 'Into the Wild' missing in remote Oregon terrain

An Oklahoma teenager who was inspired to live off the land by the movie “Into the Wild” is the target of a search effort in remote, rugged country in southeastern Oregon.

Dustin Self, 19, left his family home in the Oklahoma City suburb of Piedmont “to see if he could live in the wild,” and to investigate some churches that practice a South American religion that uses a hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament, his parents said. One is in Ashland, and the other in Portland.

The Harney County Sheriff’s Office and others searched for him on Tuesday on the northeast side of Steens Mountain after a rancher found his pickup truck had slid off a backcountry track and gotten stuck. Searchers on ATVs saw no tracks, but checked out remote cabins and worked their way up the mountain, with no sign of him before heavy snow and high winds curtailed their efforts, said Deputy Missy Ousley.

Authorities hoped for a break in the weather so they could send up a plane to look for him.

“We did everything we could to try to talk him out of it,” said his mother, Tammy Self. “He was leaving, no matter what.”

The teen was well-prepared with gear he bought just before leaving, but had little experience of life in the wild beyond family camping trips, his parents said.

“He is not a survivalist,” said his father, Victor Self, a manager at a box plant in Oklahoma City. “He is a very urban child.”

His parents last heard from him March 15, when he called from the parking lot of a motel in northern Nevada where he was spending the night in the cab of his pickup. The next day, Dustin called his girlfriend in Austin, Texas, to say he was lost after his GPS had sent him onto a road along the east side of Steens Mountain in the high desert of southeastern Oregon.

Ousley said a storekeeper in Fields recalled him asking for directions to Lakeview, which would have taken him a different direction than where his truck was found.

A religious young man raised in a non-denominational Protestant church, Dustin had been searching for meaning in his life, his mother said. He read books like “Human Race: Get Off Your Knees,” by David Icke, a former British sports reporter whose books about what he believes is really controlling life on earth are admired by conspiracy theorists. The last movie Dustin watched was “Into The Wild,” about a young man who gives up his worldly goods to live in the Alaskan wilderness. A clean-cut bodybuilder in high school, he had lately grown his hair long and wore a bandanna around his head.

His mother said, “I think he got a lot off the Internet.”

Tammy Self said her son is a vegetarian, with no desire to kill animals to eat.

“He thought he was going to eat berries,” she said. “We tried to tell him, berries don’t grow in wintertime.”

His father called the Harney County Sheriff’s Office on March 17, but a search

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/1yyCt72ku7M/

Uruguay Legalizes Gay Marriage

By The Huffington Post News Editors

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguayan lawmakers voted Wednesday to legalize gay marriage, making the South American country the third in the Americas to do so.

Supporters of the law, who had filled the public seats in the legislative building, erupted in celebration when the results were announced. The bill received the backing of 71 of the 92 members of the Chamber of Deputies present.

Read More…
More on Gay Marriage

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

Orosur Mining Inc. Announces Third Quarter Results of Financial Year 2013

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Orosur Mining Inc. Announces Third Quarter Results of Financial Year 2013

SANTIAGO, Chile–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Orosur Mining Inc (‘OMI‘ or the ‘Company’) (TSX: OMI) (AIM: OMI), the South American focused gold producer and explorer, today announces its results for the third quarter ending 28February 2013.

Further to the announcement of 8 March, the Company reiterates that production for the quarter was 18,401 ounces (making 47,822 ounces for the three quarters ended 28February 2013) and Orosur remains on track to achieve its forecast production target of 63,000 to 68,000 ounces for the full year. The Arenal Deeps ramp has been completed, with ore production targeted for April when development for the initial mining levels is complete.

On April, 9 the Company issued a progress report on its exploration at the Anillo and Pantanillo projects in Chile.


Operating and Financial Summary

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/11/orosur-mining-inc-announces-third-quarter-results-/

Key Results Summary   3 months ended

28 th February

 

9 Months Ended

28 th February

Air Lease Corporation Announces the Placement of Six New Boeing 737-800s with Aerolíneas Argentinas

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Air Lease Corporation Announces the Placement of Six New Boeing 737-800s with Aerolíneas Argentinas

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today Air Lease Corporation (NYS: AL) announced a lease agreement with Aerolíneas Argentinasfor six new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, each on lease for twelve years. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery between November 2014 and February 2016.

ALC continues to expand our relationships globally with airlines that have strong operational and growth plans. We are pleased to add Aerolíneas Argentinas as a new customer and look forward to working with them in the years to come,” said Matt Stevens, Air Lease Corporation’s Marketing Manager of Latin America.

“For the last four years Aerolíneas Argentinas has been committed to a solid business plan focusing on our domestic and regional core route network. As the fleet renewal continues, the Boeing 737 NG has been introduced with excellent results. Aerolíneas Argentinas is proud to welcome six new Boeing 737-800 NG from ALC. We look forward to a long term and productive business relationship with the leading and prestigious lessor,” said Sergio García Gómez, Manager of Fleet Planning and Financial Restructuring at Aerolíneas Argentinas.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including expected delivery dates. Such statements are based on current expectations and projections about our future results, prospects and opportunities and are not guarantees of future performance. Such statements will not be updated unless required by law. Actual results and performance may differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Air Lease Corporation (NYS: AL)

ALC is an aircraft leasing company based in Los Angeles, California that has airline customers throughout the world. ALC and its team of dedicated and experienced professionals are principally engaged in purchasing commercial aircraft and leasing them to its airline partners worldwide through customized aircraft leasing and financing solutions. For more information, visit ALC‘s website at www.airleasecorp.com.

About Aerolíneas Argentinas

Founded in 1950, Aerolíneas Argentinas is one of the leading South American carriers. From its home bases in Aeroparque Jorge Newbery and Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Aerolíneas Argentinas flies to 18 international destinations in The Americas, Europe and the South Pacific. Along with Austral Líneas Aéreas, Aerolíneas operates flights to 35 destinations in

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Constellation Brands Earnings: An Early Look

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Spring is finally here, and a new earnings season is getting under way. On Wednesday, Constellation Brands will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Constellation Brands has been at the center of the frenzy of consolidation that’s been going on in the beer, wine, and spirits industry recently. Can the company hold its own against increasingly tough competition on a number of fronts? Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with Constellation Brands over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report on Wednesday.

Stats on Constellation Brands

Analyst EPS Estimate

$0.45

Change From Year-Ago EPS

(35%)

Revenue Estimate

$667 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

6.1%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

4

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can Constellation Brands lift investors’ spirits this quarter?
Analysts have gotten more optimistic about Constellation’s earnings prospects in recent months, as they’ve lifted their estimates both for the just-ended quarter and for the entire 2013 fiscal year. That optimism has definitely shown up in Constellation’s share price, as the stock has risen 35% just since the beginning of the year.

For almost a year now, Constellation has been dealing with the changing prospects of Anheuser-Busch‘s attempts to buy Grupo Modelo. To avoid antitrust concerns, Anheuser-Busch had agreed to sell its stake in the Crown Imports joint venture to Constellation, giving it complete control of Crown Imports. Moreover, the deal would also have allowed Constellation to import Corona and Modelo Especial.

Since it was initially proposed, the Grupo Modelo deal has gone through big ups and downs. In early February, the Justice Department blocked the deal, arguing that Anheuser-Busch would have too much pricing control if the deal went through. Yet just a couple of weeks later, a new agreement that added in Constellation’s taking over Grupo Model’s Piedras Negras brewery for $2.9 billion seemed to satisfy the Justice Department, and shares soared as the deal appears to be back on.

Nevertheless, Constellation Brands hasn’t been standing still waiting for Anheuser-Busch to figure out how to get its deal done. Last month, Constellation moved forward with a distribution deal with Brazil’s Interfood Importacao, whereby the local company will offer Robert Mondavi wine, Svedka vodka, and other products throughout the South American giant. The move is just the latest in Constellation’s attempts to bolster its emerging-market presence.

In its earnings report, watch for Constellation to report on the status of the Anheuser-Busch deal as well as its other strategic moves. If the deal finally gets done, the future looks …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Former rebel leader seeks Suriname presidency

The man who led the “Jungle Commando” insurgency in Suriname says he wants to run for president in the South American nation.

Ronny Brunswijk is a member of parliament and part of the Mega Combination coalition that put current President Desi Bouterse in power. Brunswijk’s support of Bouterse was a surprise since they were once bitter enemies. Brunswijk led the rebels in the 1986-1992 Bush War against Bouterse’s then-dictatorship.

Brunswijk now says he wants to be a candidate for president in 2015. He made the announcement at a Saturday night concert by U.S. rapper Rick Ross he promoted.

The ruling party said Monday that Bouterse intends to run for re-election. Both men have been convicted in absentia in the Netherlands of drug trafficking.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Colombian Economic Engine Continues To Move Forward

By Rahim Kanani, Contributor Colombia, at one point in time, was more known for drug trafficking rather than its economic prowess, but that reputation is slowly changing as the nation continues to post strong economic growth numbers. The GDP data is even more impressive in light of the struggles the Western world has been experiencing. The nation recorded annual GDP growth of between 4-6% in the 2010 to 2012 time period, and the IMF projects Colombia to post another solid growth figure of 4.4% in 2013. Inflation, which South American countries have had an issue controlling in the past, has been tame as well, hovering in the 3% range since 2010 with 2.9% projected in 2013. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

PriceSmart Earnings: An Early Look

By Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Spring is finally here, and a new earnings season is right around the corner. Next Tuesday, PriceSmart will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

PriceSmart isn’t a name you’ll see in the U.S., but the company has taken the warehouse-club model south of the border and turned it into a thriving business throughout Latin America and Caribbean. Can the company keep up its growth pace? Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with PriceSmart over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report on Tuesday.

Stats on PriceSmart

Analyst EPS Estimate

$0.77

Change From Year-Ago EPS

15%

Revenue Estimate

$609.7 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

10.9%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

2

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Is PriceSmart’s stock a good bargain?
Analysts have had mixed views on PriceSmart recently, reining in their estimates for the most recent quarter by a penny per share but boosting their full-year fiscal 2013 consensus by $0.03 per share. The stock has also had a tepid performance, with share prices up less than 3% since the beginning of 2013.

Given PriceSmart’s business model, investors inevitably make comparisons with U.S. warehouse king Costco and its hugely successful business model of reaping the bulk of its profit from membership fees. Right now, PriceSmart looks a lot like Costco did 25 years ago, with rapidly growing sales but plenty of untapped potential. For PriceSmart, that potential could come from southward expansion into key South American markets such as Brazil, as the company thus far has concentrated on the Caribbean and Central America for most of its stores.

Source: PriceSmart investor relations.

But competition may be coming for PriceSmart. Last month, Wal-Mart got environmental approval for a store in Costa Rica, directly challenging PriceSmart’s home territory.

Still, for now, PriceSmart has kept itself growing at a strong pace. In February, the company reported an 8% increase in sales with a jump in same-store comps of almost 9%. With the announcement of a new club coming to Honduras next year, PriceSmart remains on a steady path to growing its presence throughout the region.

In its earnings report, watch for PriceSmart to discuss its longer-term plans for expansion. With the prospects that Brazil could bring the company, investors won’t want PriceSmart to wait too long before making its move southward.

PriceSmart is smart to follow Costco’s path, as its low prices haven’t just benefited customers — shares have walloped the market, returning 11,000% over the past two decades. However, with …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance