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Brazil & Southern Cone - August 2019

Introduction
This August edition of the Latin American Regional Report: Brazil & Southern Cone covers a variety of business-, economy- and security-related issues in all the countries of the sub-region...
Region
A joint operation by law enforcement bodies in Argentina, Brazil, and the US has led to the largest ever seizure of illegal firearms in decades...
Two unrelated incidents recently served as a reminder of the presence of European transnational criminal organisations, specifically Italian mafias, in the Southern Cone...
Argentina
With a general election looming and crime a major talking point, Argentina has gone to increasing lengths to stamp out a wave of gang crime and drug trafficking that has swept the country in recent years...
Brazil
Public security experts and sociologists fear that the hard-line security approach adopted by Rio de Janeiro’s state governor, Wilson Witzel, is encouraging violence and emboldening criminal organisations whose modus operandi depends on spreading terror...
Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras will no longer hold a monopoly on the natural gas market following a deal with antitrust authorities...
Chile
On 28 June Chilean retail giant Cencosud earned US$1.055bn in the largest IPO ever made on the Santiago stock exchange...
Paraguay
The Paraguayan capital of Asunción thought it had come up with a solution to its famous traffic congestion, a bus rapid transit (BRT) system known as Metrobús, but the wheels have come off the project amid allegations of corruption...
Uruguay
Uruguay will not hit its fiscal deficit target of 2.5% of GDP in 2019 and faces a complicated economic situation in the run up to this year’s elections on 27 October...
Highlights
Moody’s warnings: On 24 July, credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service warned of Argentina’s “weak economy”, citing increasing uncertainty around the government’s ability to continue to implement structural reforms and to sustain its commitment to addressing fundamental macroeconomic imbalances in the period following the national elections on 27 October...

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