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Colombia -- here represented by capital Bogota -- outperformed the rest of Latin America when it came to improving competitiveness on the latest ranking from Swiss business school IMD. (Photo: City of Bogota Government)
Netflix series The Mechanism is back with a second season, again looking at Brazil's historic Car Wash corruption probe.
MercadoLibre CEO Marcos Galperin highlights his free promotion in "Billions."
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Trade Talk

Competitiveness: Brazil, Mexico Improve


Netflix series about Brazil’s historic Car Wash probe returns.

BY LATINVEX STAFF

Brazil, Mexico and Colombia improved, while Argentina, Chile and Peru worsened their competitiveness the past year, according to the latest competitiveness ranking from Swiss-based business school IMD.

Among 63 economies worldwide, Brazil now ranks in 59th place, up one spot from last year, while Mexico also moved up one spot to 50th place. Colombia did even better, moving up six spots to 52nd place. Only two other countries (Indonesia and Saudi Arabia) improved more.

Meanwhile, Argentina fell five spots to 61st place, while Chile fell seven spots to 42nd place. Chile’s decline was the worst on the IMD ranking. Peru fell one spot to 55th place.

Venezuela saw no change, but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. It remains at the very bottom among the 63 countries included in the ranking. “Latin American countries continue to fare poorly on the ranking,” IMD says. “Venezuela was cemented at the bottom of the ranking for yet another year as the political and economic crisis continues to take its toll. The highest ranked country from this region, Chile, suffered the largest drop this year, down 7 places to 42, while Brazil and Argentina also ranked in the bottom five. Brazil ranked the lowest among the 63 countries studied for the cost of credit, making it the most expensive country for businesses to borrow, and for language skills.”

THE MECHANISM IS BACK

Netflix series The Mechanism (O Mecanismo) –which chronicles the historic Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption probe in Brazil -- just came back with its second season after a successful first season (See Netflix Series Stirs Controversy).

The series is directed by acclaimed director Jose Padilha (known for the Tropa de élite movie in Brazil and the 2014 remake of RoboCop) and written by Elena Soarez.

It clearly states that the story is fictional and even uses different names than the historic characters that dominated the Lava Jato probe. However, they are still easily recognizable, either by the similarity of the name used in the series or the physical appearance of the actor or both.

Season two of The Mechanism focuses on the explosive arrest of Marcelo Odebrecht, the head of the name sake construction company founded by his grandfather. Odebrecht is played exceptionally well by actor Emilio Orciollo Netto, who manages to convey the intense, arrogant personality of his character (known as “Ricardo Bretch” in the series).

The season also looked at the change of presidents when Dilma Rousseff was impeached by congress and her vice president Michel Temer took over. It also looks at the frantic efforts by Rousseff and former president Luiz Inazio Lula da Silva to protect the latter from any detention related to his role in Lava Jato by naming him chief of staff for Rousseff. (See Brazil: Lula Joins Rousseff’s Titanic). In the end, a court suspended the appointment.

While Rousseff is not painted as corrupt, she is rightly depicted as inept. The series shows how she refused to even try to stave off the impeachment proceedings by meeting with the Congress Speaker Eduardo Cunha and other legislators.

Cunha himself is shown as corrupt (he later was forced to resign as Speaker) and was well depicted by actor Augusto Madeira (also known from Netflix series Crime Time) playing “Carlos Penha.”

The series also shows the start of efforts by Lula’s supporters to attack Judge Sergio Moro, who is credited with making the Lava Jato probe as efficient has it became.
 
GALPERIN LOVES BILLIONS

Speaking of TV series, Marcos Galperin, the founder and CEO of Argentina’s successful e-commerce company MercadoLibre, is a big fan of the Showtime series Billions.

On May 11, Galperin tweeted out a photo showing a scene where Bobby Axelrod (played by Damian Lewis) is interviewed on TV and in the background, viewers can see a stock quote for MercadoLibre.


© Copyright Latinvex



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