Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 25

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021
(Casto Ocando, Editor)

Peru

Peru’s Comptroller Office: President Castillo’s secret meetings outside Presidential Palace affects government transparency

The Office of the Comptroller of the Republic issued an ex officio orientation report on the unregistered activities carried out by President Pedro Castillo in the building of the Sarratea passage in Breña. According to the report, “the facts presented could affect the transparency of the exercise of the public function, as well as violate the regulations referring to the management of interests, to which all officials and public servants of the State are obliged.”
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/contraloria-reuniones-en-brena-pueden-afectar-la-transparencia-de-la-funcion-publica-noticia/

Peru’s Ombudsman wants President Castillo to explain the existence of parallel presidential office

Peruvian Ombudsman Walter Gutiérrez, demanded that President Pedro Castillo explain the alleged existence of a parallel presidential office, after a journalistic investigation that revealed Castillo’s meetings outside the Government Palace. He also reminded Castillo of the Comptroller’s regulations, according to which the president and senior officials have a legal duty to meet in their official offices, making their agenda public, as dictated by transparency regulations.
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/pedro-castillo-defensoria-demanda-que-explique-existencia-de-un-despacho-presidencial-paralelo-nndc-noticia/?ref=p21r

Peru’s National Intelligence Directoriate warns about negative influence of Bolivian Evo Morales

A report by the National Intelligence Directorate of Peru warns that Evo Morales’s influence will increase the action of extremist groups in Peru, and that the relationship of militants of the Bolivian Movement to Socialism (MAS) with Peruvian actors has been visibly reinforced. “The increasing presence and influence of Evo Morales Ayma in Peru will open spaces for a greater politicization of extremist sectors on sensitive issues such as the change of the Political Constitution and the decriminalization of the coca leaf,” warns the report.

Caretas, in Spanish: https://caretas.pe/politica/dini-alerta-de-influencia-de-evo-morales-en-el-peru/

Peru experiences the highest inflation in the last 12 years

Annual inflation in Peru reached 5.8%, the highest rate recorded in the last 12 months, according to a study by the Peruvian Institute of Economics (IPE). In a report prepared for the newspaper El Comercio, it was stated that the price increase in the basic food basket is due to local and global factors.
The Rio Times: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/mercosur/peru/peru-experiences-the-highest-inflation-in-the-last-12-years-according-to-the-peruvian-institute-of-economics/

OAS’s Luis Almagro arrives in Peru

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, arrived today in Peru for a two-day Official Visit where meetings are scheduled with the President of the Republic, Pedro Castillo, Foreign Minister Oscar Maúrtua, and other Peruvian authorities.
Caretas, in Spanish: https://caretas.pe/politica/secretario-general-de-la-oea-luis-almagro-llego-hoy-al-peru-para-realizar-visita-oficial/

Argentina

Russian state-controlled firm enters lithium project in Argentina

Uranium One, a subsidiary of Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom, has signed an agreement to form a joint venture to develop a Tolillar lithium deposit in Argentina to diversify its business. Uranium One will spend $30 million to buy a 15% stake in Alpha One Lithium, which owns a project firm holding right to develop the deposit. Alpha Lithium Corporation will keep the remaining 85% stake in the project.
Mining.com: https://www.mining.com/web/russian-state-controlled-firm-enters-lithium-project-in-argentina/

Argentina to negotiate financial aid with China

The Argentine government is in dialogue with the Chinese administration of Xi Jinping and with the authorities of the People’s Bank of China to evaluate the expansion of the swap for $19 billion that had already been granted to the country in 2020.
El Cronista, in Spanish: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/mercosur/argentina/rescue-plan-argentina-negotiates-financial-aid-with-china-in-swaps/

World Bank: 40% of households in Argentina lost income during pandemic

According to the World Bank, “food insecurity” almost doubled in Latin America and the Caribbean during the pandemic, with almost 40% of homes in Argentina hit by a drop in earnings.
Buenos Aires Times: https://batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/world-bank40-of-argentine-households-lost-income-due-to-pandemic.phtml

Ecuador

Ecuador’s security crisis warrants U.S. assistance

Ecuador is experiencing a rapid rise in homicide rates. A failure to stem, and eventually reverse, insecurity could undermine the popularity of Ecuador’s new government, which is staunchly pro-U.S. and continues to repair Ecuador’s democracy after the autocratic rule of long-time President Rafael Correa vitiated institutions and undermined rule-of-law. In a region beset by democratic backsliding, the U.S. should work with Ecuador to improve security in a country that represents one of the few feel-good stories.
The Hill: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/583465-ecuadors-security-crisis-warrants-us-assistance

Inter American Commision on Human Rights mission in Ecuador this week to assess prisons crisis

Presided by Commissioner Stuardo Ralón, Rapporteur for the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, a delegation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will visit Ecuador between today and next Friday to learn in situ about the gang-related violence in the country’s prisons, that has produced more than 300 deaths in the last months.
The Rio Times: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/mercosur/ecuador/iachr-mission-to-ecuador-tomorrow-to-analyze-the-serious-prison-crisis/

Bolivia

Bolivia’s Luis Arce looks for help from pro-communist Puebla Group

Bolivian President Luis Arce asked the Puebla Group, meeting in Mexico City on Tuesday to analyze the “attempts to destabilize the right wing” that are being carried out in his country.
El Pais.cr/Sputnik: https://www.elpais.cr/2021/11/30/bolivia-pide-al-grupo-de-puebla-que-analice-los-intentos-de-desestabilizacion-de-derecha/

Other news: FARC

U.S. officially pulls Colombian rebels FARC off foreign terror group list

The State Department announced Tuesday that it had officially removed the far-left rebel group Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The announcement came on the fifth anniversary of an agreement negotiated by FARC and Colombia’s government meant to end more than 50 years of fighting. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, FARC “formally dissolved and disarmed” after the 2016 treaty was brokered, and the rebel group is no longer a unified organization “that engages in terrorism or terrorist activity or has the capability or intent to do so.”
New York Post: https://nypost.com/2021/11/30/us-pulls-colombian-rebels-farc-off-foreign-terror-group-list/

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio: decision of delisting FARC as foreign terrorist organization “risks emboldening narcoterrorists and the regimes that sponsor them”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke during a full Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the hearing, Rubio questioned Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols about the Biden Administration’s decision to delist the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Last week, Rubio stated “the Biden Administration’s decision to remove the FARC from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list risks emboldening narcoterrorists and the regimes that sponsor them throughout our region.”
Rubio.senate.gov: https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=E6EE34C2-8B3E-4B33-8046-63D1318E8441

Colombia’s Ivan Duque regrets U.S. removing FARC from terrorist list: “we would have preferred another decision”

The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, regretted this Tuesday that the United States had made the decision to remove the dissolved FARC guerrilla from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, because although he “respects” it, he would have preferred “another decision.”
El Nuevo Herald, in Spanish: https://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/america-latina/colombia-es/article256247067.html