Leading Latin American Business Writers Inaugurated CCA Journalism Forum

CCA President Marina Jimenez and Minister Baird

CCA President Marina Jimenez together with Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird

The CCA held a luncheon on November 5th, 2013, with five visiting Latin American business journalists as part of our inaugural 2013 Journalism Forum. The session featured an economic forecast of the region’s largest and hottest markets from the people who know it best. The journalists discussed business trends and developments in their countries, and in the region broadly, followed by a question and answer session that gave participants an opportunity to interact directly with the journalists. The CCA’s vice-chair of the board, Jonathan Hausman, moderated the session.

The luncheon formed part of a week-long forum that included discussions with key business leaders, interviews with leading Canadian government officials (including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, featured right) and events with Canada’s top journalism schools. The goal of the forum is to create lasting ties between Canada and Latin American journalists, the region’s key thought leaders, and increase exposure of Latin American business news in Canada and vice versa. This year’s journalists were Gonzalo Soto (Mexico), Iván Bernal (Colombia), David Rivera (Peru), Humberto Saccomandi (Brazil) and Lina Castañeda (Chile).

The CCA is grateful to the ambassadors of Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico for co-hosting a reception in honour of the journalists at the residence of Amb. Roberto Ibarra, of Chile, in Ottawa. We also appreciate the financial support of the City of Toronto, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Scotiabank and KPMG for this program.

Articles Published 

Gonzalo Soto in Reforma: “Arropan en Canada a creativos de Mexico” (Nov. 5, 2013), “Acusan falla TLCAN” (Nov. 8, 2103), “Apuesta Canada innovacion” (Nov. 11, 2013), “Invierten 1400 en juegos” (Nov. 11, 2013), “Dejan huella inmigrantes” (Nov.11, 2013) and “Perfila Canada eliminar visa” (Nov. 12, 2013).

Humberto Saccomandi in Jornal Valor Econômico: “Chegou a hora do equity crowdfunding?” (Nov. 07, 2013) and “Acordo com Mercosul “é muito difícil”, diz Canadá,” (Nov. 12, 2013).

Lina Castañeda in El Mercurio: “Necesitamos desesperadamente encontrar mercados con potencial de crecimiento” (Nov. 14, 2013) and “Scotiabank busca crecer en Chile y también pone su foco en la Alianza del Pacífico” (Nov. 18, 2013).

Iván Bernal in La República: “Canadá le apostará a la construcción y al sector alimentos” (Nov. 13, 2013), “’Si las negociaciones de paz dan una gran zancada, llegarán más empresas‘” (Nov. 13, 2013), and “Así es como Canadá busca al nuevo Mark Zuckerberg” (Nov. 26, 2013).

The Journalists


Humberto Saccomandi

Humberto Saccomandi (Brazil)

Humberto has served as international news editor of Valor Econômico since the newspaper first appeared in May 2000. He was part of the founding team, established in December 1999, which planned, created and launched the newspaper. Based in São Paulo, Valor Econômico is a joint venture between Organizações Globo and Folha Group, two of the most important media groups in Brazil. Humberto also writes a regular column for Valor Econômico on international affairs. Prior to this, he spent eleven years at Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil’s best-selling morning newspaper, where he worked as reporter, assistant-editor and vice-editor for a variety of sections. Between 1992 and 1993, he served as London correspondent for Folha de S.Paulo. In his capacity as a journalist, Humberto has covered a number of key international events, such as GATT negotiations, which led to the creation of WTO. He has interviewed world leaders, including the prime ministers of Italy, Holland, Sweden, Finland and presidents of Poland, Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia

Humberto studied mass media at São Paulo University (Brazil). He speaks several languages fluently, including Portuguese, English, Italian and Spanish.


Gonzalo Soto

Gonzalo Soto (Mexico)

Gonzalo joined Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s leading newspaper and one of the largest news organizations in Latin America, in 2010. Gonzalo serves as an economy and business reporter covering the Ministry of Finance and Mexico’s Central Bank. During his career, Gonzalo has reported on some of the most exciting economic developments in his country, including Mexico’s G20 chairmanship, the presidential elections of 2012, and the fiscal and energy reforms that could set the stage for a new business environment in the country. Before going into journalism, he worked at the British Embassy in Mexico City. He also worked at Safie Consultores, a lobbying firm. Gonzalo studied international relations at the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology and Stockholm University in Sweden, as well as feature writing and news reporting for web and other media at Harvard University.


Lina Castañeda

Lina Castañeda (Chile)

Lina Castañeda is a business journalist at El Mercurio where she specializes in macroeconomics, finance and international trade. Previously she worked at Orbe News Agency (Agencia Orbe de Noticias). She began her career at El Mercurio covering economic news during the height of the external debt crisis of 1982. Lina has participated in advanced training courses on macroeconomics and financial regulation at the Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica, the Chilean Securities and Insurance Supervisor, and the Central Bank of Chile. She has also attended seminars organized by the IMF and the World Bank. Lina is a recipient of the Citibank fellowship for economic and finance journalists. In 1992, she participated in a training course on financial matters at Columbia University, New York, for which she received a scholarship.

Lina holds degrees in journalism and applied finance from the Universidad de Chile and the Universidad del Desarrollo.


David Rivera

David Rivera (Peru)

David Rivera is editor of Poder, a monthly magazine established in 2009. The magazine has since established a reputation for in-depth, cutting-edge editorial coverage. As an international magazine, with US and Mexican editions, Poder covers issues of local, regional and global interest. David also works as producer and host of Financial Portal, a TV program focused on economic issues aired at Canal N, one of the most viewed 24-hour news channel in Peru. Previously, Mr. Rivera worked as economics editor of El Comercio, one of Peru’s most important newspapers. He also served as adviser to the Deputy Ministry of Economy and Finance, focusing on topics related to decentralization and budget management.

David studied economics at the University of the Pacific in Lima and has taken several postgraduate training courses in economy and business, including one on Latin American integration at the Reuters Foundation in Miami.


Iván Bernal

Iván Bernal (Colombia)

Iván is a journalist with La República, a position he has held since January of 2012. He serves as an editorial board member, culture and entertainment editor, and monthly editor-in-chief. La República is a Colombian daily newspaper that specializes in economics news and analysis. Prior to joining La República, Iván was a scholar at the Ibero-American Foundation for New Journalism (Fundación para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano), founded by writer Gabriel García Márque.z’ In 2010, he was winner of the Semana magazine Petrobras Prize for regional journalism. Most recently, in 2011, he received the excellence award from the Society of News Designs for his work ‘El viacrucis de los barranquilleros.’

Iván began his career at El Heraldo newspaper in 2007. He attended Universidad del Norte where he studied contemporary philosophy and has a Master’s in journalism from Universidad del Rosario.

Select Photos

Journalist Photo for HP

The journalists gather in the Distillery District of Toronto as part of a tour organized by the City of Toronto’s Alicia Bulwik


The CCA’s President Marina Jimenez (centre left) with the journalists and board members Robert Almeida and Ed Dosman (both left) and David Simsilevich (far right) at KPMG.


At the 2015 Toronto Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games headquarters.


The journalists speak at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. Above (from left) David Rivera, Ivan Bernal and Lina Castaneda.


Journalist Humberto Saccomandi with a guest at Amb. Ibarra’s residence in Ottawa during a reception hosted by the Chilean ambassador in honour of the visiting journalists.


The Journalists gather on Parliament Hill in Ottawa prior to a private session with Erin O’Toole, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade.


The journalists and CCA staff together with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (centre left) following a briefing with the minister.