Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 27

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

The Americas

Drugs supply in the Americas is higher than ever, with production increasingly effective

Cannabis, cocaine, heroin, synthetic opioids and methamphetamine is what can be found throughout the Americas continent. The main substance of concern varies by country, reflecting the variety of illegal drug supply in the hemisphere.The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (Cicad), published an Executive summary of the Report on the Supply of Drugs in the Americas 2021, which it plans to present in 2022, analyzing data of drugs supply in 27 countries of the Western Hemisphere.
El Universo, in Spanish: https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/internacional/la-oferta-de-drogas-en-america-es-diversa-con-altos-niveles-de-produccion-cada-vez-mas-eficaces-nota/?modulo=destacadas-dos&plantilla=home

Report here: https://www.oas.org/fpdb/press/Resumen-Ejecutivo-ENG-final.pdf

Ecuador

Ecuador experiences significant increase in arms trafficking by drug cartels

During 2021, Ecuador has registered more than 2,000 homicides, a figure that has already far exceeded the 1,372 violent deaths registered in 2020 and that almost doubles the 1,187 in 2019, before the pandemic. These crimes have been possible thanks to the increasingly sophisticated firearms that enter a country like Ecuador in greater numbers, with permeable borders and a strategic geographic location in the international drug trafficking scene.
El Universo, in Spanish: https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/ecuador/en-ecuador-crece-el-uso-de-armas-industriales-que-ingresan-por-las-fronteras-para-alimentar-la-crisis-carcelaria-y-la-delincuencia-nota/

Report: Ecuador and Venezuela, the first stops in the drug trafficking route to the U.S.

“The Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel are the buyers of the cocaine grown in Colombia, Peru and the Bolivian jungle. It reaches Ecuador and Venezuela by land. From there, the cartels send the shipments by airplanes to Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua or Guatemala ”. Raúl Benítez, professor of National Security at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explains that in the long journey of Colombian cocaine “the three great Mexican land routes are the most important because the US has a very tight control of the air and the sea”. Cocaine arrives “generally by land” to Ecuador and Venezuela. From there, the cartels send cargo by plane to Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador or Mexico. Land routes are key to introducing drugs into the US due to the lesser control that the authorities can exercise.
La Razón, in Spanish: https://www.larazon.es/internacional/20211205/7i5r2roxjjd2lp3nj2wcmghxku.html

Argentina

A fleet of 300 Chinese fishing vessels enters the South Atlantic under the watchful eye of the Argentine Navy

The Chinese “task force” begins to position itself on the edge of the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone. Foreign Ministry, Defense, Security and the Undersecretariat of Fisheries, put in place operations to prevent illegal incursions of the Chinese.
Infobae: https://www.infobae.com/politica/2021/12/06/una-flota-de-mas-de-300-pesqueros-chinos-ingresa-al-atlantico-sur-bajo-la-atenta-mirada-de-la-armada-argentina/

Hopes for Argentina-IMF deal grow, but it will impact the government in the upcoming 2023 presidential election

Argentines fear the potential impact of a deal on public spending, which has been key to helping prop up growth this year, while the government could take a political hit from any austerity ahead of presidential elections in 2023. An Argentine economic team traveled to Washington over the weekend to push forward talks with IMF officials, with many analysts seeing the chances of a deal rising – despite gaps between the two sides over how to fund fiscal consolidation.
U.S. News & World Report: https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2021-12-06/analysis-hopes-for-argentina-imf-deal-grow-but-at-what-cost

Peru

Pedro Castillo’s envoy tried to stop investigative reporters from running negative news report

Alejandro Sánchez, personal envoy of Peru’s president Pedro Castillo, tried to convince investigative editors at influential Cuarto Poder TV show to stop running a negative report on Castillo’s secret meetings that put him under investigation by the Attorney General’s office.
Perú21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/cuarto-poder-alejandro-sanchez-emisario-de-pedro-castillo-ofrecio-primicias-para-evitar-reportaje-brena-sarratea-noticia/?ref=p21r

Analysis: Peru’s Castillo plays whack-a-mole with crisis as impeachment threat looms

The country’s leftist President Pedro Castillo faces a likely vote this week in a fragmented and notoriously fickle Congress on whether to launch impeachment proceedings that could push him out of power just months into his administration.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/perus-castillo-plays-whack-a-mole-with-crises-impeachment-threat-looms-2021-12-06/

Las Bambas copper mine in Peru faces shutdown

Las Bambas copper mine in Peru will shut down copper production by mid-December because of a road blockade, it said on Friday, as executives urged the government to build a freight rail link to avoid future disruption.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/hk-listed-mmg-cease-copper-operations-peru-mine-2021-12-03/

Audio revealing government corruption network shakes Pedro Castillo’s Administration

An audio broadcast on social networks involves the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC), led by Juan Silva, in alleged acts of corruption. On Sunday, officers announced an internal investigation involving former Vice Minister of Transportation Verónica Cáceres and former director of the Office of Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Lizbeth Huamán, to determine if they are involved in any illegal activity.
El Comercio, in Spanish: https://elcomercio.pe/politica/gobierno/audio-involucra-al-ministerio-de-transportes-y-comunicaciones-en-presunto-caso-de-corrupcion-noticia/

Bolivia

Authorities seizes 8 planes used by a Brazilian cartel to traffick cocaine from Bolivia and Paraguay

The Brazilian police dismantled a drug trafficking organization accused of using agricultural company planes to introduce cocaine from Paraguay and Bolivia into Brazil, and from which at least eight small aircraft were seized, official sources reported.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/seguridad/2021/12/3/decomisan-ocho-aviones-grupo-brasileno-que-llevaba-cocaina-de-bolivia-paraguay-317050.html