Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 23

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Friday November 26th, 2021
(Casto Ocando, Editor)

Perú

Peru lawmakers present motion to impeach president Castilllo

Opposition lawmakers in Peru, including from the party of narrowly defeated right-wing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, presented a motion in Congress on Thursday seeking to remove leftist President Pedro Castillo. The motion, citing “moral inability” to govern, was presented with the signatures of 28 legislators. It will face a vote in Congress, as yet unscheduled, where 52 votes from 130 lawmakers would be needed to begin impeachment proceedings.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/peru-lawmakers-present-motion-impeach-president-castillo-2021-11-25/

Peru Libre party evaluates support of impeachment against President Castillo

After the presentation of the motion for presidential vacancy against Pedro Castillo, with signatures from opposition groups such as Fuerza Popular, Renovación Popular and Avanza País, the same government bank, Peru Libre, could join this measure that seeks to remove the president of the Republic.
Caretas, in Spanish: https://caretas.pe/politica/peru-libre-evalua-mocion-de-vacancia-presidencial-contra-pedro-castillo/

Peru softens stance on mining permits that rattled sector

Peru’s government said on Wednesday that mining companies could seek permission to extend operations, a notable shift in stance after officials had appeared to rule out extensions for some key mines over environmental concerns, rattling industry advocates.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/perus-government-softens-stance-mining-permits-2021-11-24/

Peru communities resolute on mine shutdowns despite government shift

Communities in Peru’s Ayacucho region say they will resume protests against the mining sector if the government of leftist President Pedro Castillo breaches what they call a signed agreement to shutter mines, local leaders told Reuters.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/peru-communities-resolute-mine-shutdowns-despite-government-shift-2021-11-25/

Argentina

Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez met with Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish lawyer who represented Alex Saab

The meeting was after participating in a summit on human rights. The lawyer represented Alex Saab, a businessman who was extradited to the United States, accused of being the front man of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/politica/2021/11/24/alberto-fernandez-recibio-al-abogado-espanol-baltasar-garzon-en-la-casa-rosada/

Argentina tightens exchange controls to curb outflow of dollars

Argentina’s central bank published two new measures Thursday intended to curb access to hard currency amid expectations for a devaluation. The central bank published one rule change affecting banks and another affecting consumers, as it tries to preserve its store of dollars to help defend the value of the peso.
Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-25/argentina-limits-banks-daily-holdings-of-cash-in-dollars

Ecuador

Drug trail from Europe to Ecuador: inside the hunt for elusive narco suspect

Police here say they traced a sprawling network flooding Europe with cocaine to an unlikely kingpin: an Albanian hit man incarcerated in Ecuador. The yearslong operation exposed how new criminal groups are taking advantage of globalization to turn Europe into a rival of the U.S. as the biggest market for cocaine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/drug-trail-from-europe-to-ecuador-inside-the-hunt-for-elusive-narco-suspect-dritan-rexhepi-11637756980

Ecuador debates law that would allow shooting down narco-aircrafts

In the Ecuadorian congress, a bill was presented that allows the Ecuadorian Air Force to intervene with force to any aircraft flying without authorization, flight plan, or contact in a hostile manner or illegally in Ecuador. This new regulation would empower the military forces to shoot down drug-carrying planes, which frequently circulate in Ecuadorian airspace.
The Rio Times: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/mercosur/ecuador/ecuador-debates-a-law-that-would-allow-the-shooting-down-of-narco-aircraft/

Former Ecuador’s Central Bank official said Alex Saab “exported” more than $300 millions in apparent illicit activities

Mateo Villalba, former manager of Ecuador’s Central Bank during the administration of Rafael Correa revealed in a congressional hearing that between October 2012 and January 2013 the financial flows from Alex Saab’s firm Flogocons “far exceeded the real flows of exports to Venezuela”, which pointed to signs of “a possible illicit activity.”
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/venezuela/2021/11/25/ex-funcionario-del-gobierno-de-rafael-correa-alerto-por-una-posible-actividad-ilicita-de-una-empresa-de-alex-saab-en-ecuador/

Bolivia

Forests for sale: How land traffickers profit by slicing up Bolivia’s protected areas

Shortly after Bolivia’s Bajo Paraguá Municipal Protected Area was established in February 2021, authorities began receiving reports of invasions and deforestation in and around the new protected area. Local sources say land traffickers are illegally buying up plots of protected land to resell, often repeatedly, to third parties.
Mongabay: https://news.mongabay.com/2021/11/forests-for-sale-how-land-traffickers-profit-by-slicing-up-bolivias-protected-areas/

Argentine Ambassador involved in pro-Evo political demonstrations in Bolivia

Argentina’s Ambassador to Bolivia Adrián Basteiro came under criticism once again Thursday for participating in a demonstration of Bolivia’s ruling party Movement Towards Socialism headed by former President Evo Morales.
Former Bolivian diplomat Julio Alvarado claimed Basteiro’s attitude was against the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Mercopress: https://en.mercopress.com/2021/11/26/argentine-ambassador-involved-in-pro-evo-political-demonstrations-in-bolivia