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Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has received harsh criticism this year from local and foreign investors. (Photo: Mexican Presidency)
Thursday, December 17, 2020

Latin America Business: Best Quotes of the Year

The best quotes of the year in Latin America business.



The editorial staff of Latinvex selects the best quotes of the year relating to Latin America business.




"This government isn’t doing anything to entice investment. All they’re good at is cancelling stuff.”
The head of one big Canadian company investing in Mexico, as quoted by the Financial Tines, January 27, 2020.

“He decided to open the sewer, and now all this is coming out. This falls out from using corruption as a political tool instead of building a strategy to eradicate it.”
Benito Nacif, a former Mexican election commissioner who focused on party financing, on allegation of illegal cash donations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as quoted by Bloomberg, August 23, 2020.

“The phone does not stop ringing from Mexico. Every day you hear of a new Mexican family moving to Miami.”
Miami-based Philippe Stiernon, founder of ROAM Capital, which helps U.S. private equity firms raise money in Latin America, as quoted by Bloomberg, July 17, 2020.

“This has to do with Spanish companies that see Mexico as a land to be conquered.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, alleging that Mexican power contracts were won by Spanish companies due to “influence peddling” although he did not give details of the alleged wrongdoing, as quoted by Reuters, June 17, 2020.

"There can’t be a single foreign investor who’s not afraid every time they want to do a project in Mexico because they know there’s no stability in the rules.”
Daniel Sánchez, partner at law firm Baker McKenzie, after the Mexican government suddenly changed the rules for renewable companies, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 24, 2020.

“If you’re thinking of opening a plant, investing fresh money, chances are you won’t do it in Mexico now.”
A former top trade official after the Mexican government suddenly changed the rules for renewable companies, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 24, 2020.

“The government’s capacity for listening is virtually non-existent."
A senior businessman in the northern industrial city of Monterrey after the Mexican government suddenly changed the rules for renewable companies, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 24, 2020.

"They plundered more during the neo-liberal period than they did in three centuries of colonial domination."
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, attacking foreign companies in Mexico, as quoted by Reuters, May 18, 2020.

"The appalling humanitarian catastrophe of Venezuela stands as a clear warning of what another four and a half years of Mr López Obrador could do to Mexico."
Editorial in the Financial Times, April 14, 2020, criticizing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's economic policies and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“A bullet in the brain would be less damaging than what they’re doing.”
Juan Francisco Torres Landa, a trade lawyer and partner at Hogan Lovells, on the impact of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's "referendum" stopping the $1.4 billion Constellation Brands brewery, as quoted by the Financial Times, March 23, 2020.

"Mexico needs statecraft, yet its president offers theatre"
The Bello column in The Economist, February 27, 2020, on Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

“I guess each of us have decided where to have dinner today.”

Tweet on February 13, 2020 by Alvaro Fernandez, CEO of conglomerate Alfa SAB, who declined to attend a dinner at the Mexican presidential palace where President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador asked prominent businesspeople to participate in his controversial raffle.

“I don’t know how that’s physically possible."
Talos Energy Chief Executive Officer Tim Duncan on statements from Pemex CEO Octavio Romero that the reservoir Asab would hypothetically be brought into production next year, as quoted by Reuter, February 11, 2020.



"Bolsonaro has been screwing up with a certain frequency. There is a pandemic everywhere in the world, but here you have a pandemic coupled with a political crisis. It is a tremendous problem."
A Brazilian infrastructure investor, commenting on the antics of President Jair Bolsonaro, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 4, 2020.

“Our perception is that white collar criminals are celebrating.”
Melina Flores, a Brazilian federal prosecutor who worked on high-profile corruption cases in capital Brasília, on the recent exit of justice minister Sergio Moro, the face of the successful car Wash anti-corruption probes, as quoted by The New York Times, August 29, 2020.

“I want to punch you in the face, OK?”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to a reporter from the O Globo newspaper that asked about bank deposits made in the account of his wife, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, by a former aide to one of his sons., as reported by Reuters, August 23, 2020.

“I didn’t enter the government to serve a master. I entered it to serve the country, the law.”
Sergio Moro, Brazil's former justice minister and renowned judge who led the Car Wash anti-corruption probes, as quoted by Time magazine, May 21, 2020.

"Everybody was going to Disneyland, the maid was going to Disneyland, it was a hell of a party."
Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes on when the Real was stronger compared with the US dollar, as quoted by Folha de S. Paulo, February 12, 2020.



"They’re just slapping on small band-aids here and there.”
Jorge Piedrahita, managing partner at Gear Capital Partners in New York, on Argentina government handling of economy, as quoted by Bloomberg, October 19, 2020.

“It shows total desperation. They have just hung a sign around their necks that says ‘meltdown’.”
Agustín Monteverde, an economist at consultancy Massot Monteverde & Asociados in Buenos Aires, on the Argentine government's new currency restrictions, as quoted by Reuters, September 17, 2020.


"Forget 21st-century socialism: This is a good old barony of bandits."
Bloomberg columnist Mac Margolis, February 10, 2020, on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro giving patronage jobs, a cut of public concessions and even authority over basic bureaucratic functions to favored bureaucrats, political operators, military officials and assortment of felons.


"Privatization without deregulation is nothing more than a #Ferrari without gas."
Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, on Nicolas Maduro's plans to privatize oil in Venezuela, in a Tweet, February 1, 2020.




"His ego is probably bigger than that of Trump and an arrogance without parallel."
Germán Efromovich, majority shareholder of Colombian airline Avianca, on minority shareholder Roberto Kriete, as quoted by Semana, Fenruary 8, 2020.


"If the private sector can get a Coca-Cola to the remotest point on this map of Peru, and I can’t get there with a paracetamol, we’re doing something wrong and they’re doing something right.”
Victor Zamora, former health minister in Peru, on how the private sector can manage the vaccine distribution better than the public sector, as quoted by Bloomberg, December 10, 2020.


“This is like a horror movie where the villain keeps coming back from the dead."
John Murphy, Senior Vice President for International Policy at the US Chamber of Commerce, on how Donald Trump's unilateral and unpredictable actions trade partners can undermine the new USMCA, as quoted by Latinvex, July 1, 2020.

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas. We’re going to change that.”
President Donald Trump quoted in the new book “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America,” by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig

“It is a small victory for the USA and a great defeat for Latin America.”
Mauricio Cardenas, former finance minister of Colombia on Trump nominating one of his own advisors to lead the Inter-American Development Bank, breaking with tradition to have a Latin American president, as quoted by Reuters, June 16, 2020.

"Because I come from the real estate industry, the sunset concept made a lot of sense to me."
Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser of President Donald Trump, on the controversial sunset clause in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal, in an op-ed in CNBC, February 4, 2020.



Latin America Business: Best in 2020

Latin America Business: Worst in 2020

Latin America Business: Best Quotes