With all eyes on rising COVID-19 infection rates across LATAM, we’ve understandably been distracted. Here are three critical events you may have missed in July 2020.
1. AeroMexico files for bankruptcy protection
AeroMexico has filed for bankruptcy protection. Two other major regional airlines have taken the same step: LATAM Airlines based in Brazil and Chile, and Avianca of Colombia. Many predict that smaller Latin American airlines will not survive the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend raises the question of how airlines will disperse their assets, and whether there will be a future market gap for cut-price airlines in the region.
2. Two ex-Panamanian presidents have been charged with corruption
Two ex-Panamanian presidents have been charged with corruption. Richardo Martinelli who was president from 2009-2014 is alleged to have used government money to buy a publishing group. Whilst Juan Carlos Verela is accused of accepting illicit campaign contributions from Odebrecht. Time will tell whether this is a sign of Panama genuinely cleaning up, as many wait to see whether others will be implicated in the investigation.
3. Spike in Brazilian deforestation
The Brazilian government fires deforestation monitor reported a spike in Amazon deforestation in June 2020. In response some European nations have threatened to undermine EU trade with Brazil if deforestation is not curtailed. The situation raises concerns as to whether Brazil will seek to hide its deforestation activities and if Brazilian business will suffer in the long run.
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