Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 32

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Friday December 17th, 2021

Peru

New scandal shakes the government of Pedro Castillo

Businesswoman Karelim Lopez said she gave an amount of money in cash to the now former Secretary General of the Presidency, Bruno Pacheco, destined for President Castillo and previously agreed with the president himself, according to prestigious investigative reporter Gustavo Gorriti’s news site IDL Reporteros. Through her twitter account, Lopez denied her involvement in the case.
IDL-Reporteros, in Spanish: https://www.idl-reporteros.pe/la-delacion-fallida/

Karelim Lopez statement: https://www.infobae.com/america/peru/2021/12/17/karelim-lopez-niega-haber-ofrecido-informacion-comprometedora-contra-pedro-castillo/

Closure of Las Bambas copper mine will affect more than 75K families

Las Bambas suffered a serious attack by illegal miners yesterday. President Castillo’s government evaluates declaring a state of emergency in the conflict zone to avoid full suspension of operations.
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/economia/paralizacion-de-las-bambas-afectara-a-mas-de-75-mil-familias-noticia/

Peru communities, british mining firm Hochschild on collision path over mine closures

Community leaders near four mines in the southern Andean region of Ayacucho, including the two ran by british Hochschild Mining, said they expected to be presented with a definitive plan to shut the mines in a meeting scheduled for Wednesday with mining firms and the government. But Hochschild told Reuters it expected to be granted approval to extend the life of the two gold and silver mines.
Mining.com: https://www.mining.com/web/no-deal-here-peru-communities-hochschild-on-collision-path-over-mine-closures/

Peru’s Camisea gas renegotiation faces uncertain future

Peru’s government is facing hurdles in its plans to renegotiate the Camisea gas contract, experts warn. One issue is that it is not clear what will be negotiated, according to a former official, while there are also signs of weaknesses in the government’s negotiating team. A former president of hydrocarbons licensing authority Perupetro, Aurelio Ochoa, told BNamericas it is unknown what exactly will be renegotiated with the Camisea consortium led by Pluspetrol, which operates the deposit.
Bnamericas: https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/perus-camisea-gas-renegotiation-faces-uncertain-future

Argentina

Face-off between the government and the Judiciary in Argentina for corruption cases

Several corruption cases involving the current vice president of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, still unsolved, are causing a confrontation between the government and the judiciary due to the appointment of judges whose decisions may not be favorable to Kirchner.
News Channel 3/CNN en Español: https://kesq.com/news/2021/12/16/el-gobierno-y-el-poder-judicial-de-argentina-se-enfrentan-entre-reformas-truncas-y-el-futuro-de-las-causas-de-fernandez-de-kirchner/

Prosecutor to appeal dismissal of Cristina Kirchner’s money laundering charges

The prosecutor in the Hotesur and Los Sauces cases, in which the vice president and former Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is being investigated for alleged money laundering, appealed the dismissal granted by a court before the oral trial took place.
EFE, in Spanish: https://www.efe.com/efe/america/politica/fiscal-apela-el-sobreseimiento-a-cristina-fernandez-por-lavado-de-dinero/20000035-4697319

Ecuador

Ecuador request information on ‘narco-generals’ to the U.S.

The Minister of the Interior Alexandra Vela sent and official letter to Washington asking for information on the generals whose visas have been cancelled by the US government. The goal is to start a criminal investigation on case.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/politica/ministra-vela-informacion-narco-generales/

Indigenous Leaders are reshaping Ecuador’s politics

Ecuador’s Indigenous political party, Pachakutik, founded in 1995, was voted into the country’s National Assembly in February’s general elections in record-high numbers. It is now the second-largest party in the Assembly, holding 18 percent of seats.
Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/12/17/ecuador-indigenous-politics-leaders-pachakutik-nenquimo-quishpe-perez/

Ecuador’s Lasso ordered special commission to investigate prison violence

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso on Thursday announced an expert commission to investigate and help end prison violence that has killed more than 300 people incarcerated in the country this year. “The commission will analyze the causes and effects of the current prison situation, with an end to establishing an internal coexistence pact with dignity, humanity and responsibility,” Lasso said at the signing of a decree to create the nine-member group.
Reuters/WTVB: https://wtvbam.com/2021/12/16/ecuador-commission-to-investigate-prison-violence-president/

Bolivia

Bolivia: Áñez’s daughter denounces her mother was assaulted in prison by a policewoman

Carolina Ribera, daughter of the former interim president of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez, denounced this Wednesday that her mother “was assaulted and beaten” by a policewoman and that she fears for the safety of the former president, who is in preventive detention in prison in La Paz.
“They entered my mother’s cell and wanted to make her sign a note; they wanted to force her, but she refused to sign,” Ribera told Efe.
EFE/The Rio Times: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/mercosur/bolivia/bolivia-anezs-daughter-denounces-that-her-mother-was-assaulted-in-prison-by-a-policewoman/

Bolivia seeks to relaunch relations with Cuba and ncrease cooperation

According to president Luis Arce, Bolivia will contribute to improving Cuba’s agricultural production, something that, he assured, is already being worked on. “We are relaunching our relations, after a period where Bolivia experienced a dictatorship, a coup d’état,” and now it has been “happily possible to make a face-to-face visit” to be able to resume a “new course of our relations,” he commented.
Prensa Latina: https://www.plenglish.com/news/2021/12/16/bolivia-seeks-to-relaunch-relations-with-cuba-and-increase-cooperatio/

Brazil

U.S. Treasury targets Brazil’s top drug gang with sanctions

The U.S. Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions on people and businesses connected to drug trafficking gangs, including the biggest criminal organization in Brazil, known as the PCC. The move stems from new authority designated under an executive order from President Joe Biden “to target any foreign person engaged in drug trafficking activities, regardless of whether they are linked to a specific kingpin or cartel,” the Treasury said in a statement.
AP/WTOP news: https://wtop.com/latin-america/2021/12/us-treasury-targets-brazils-top-drug-gang-with-sanctions/

The Americas

U.S. authorities: corruption and threat of dictatorships, two main concerns in the Americas

The United States reiterated on Tuesday its commitment in the fight against corruption and its efforts for promoting democracy in the Americas. In this regard, two senior officials of the State Department, Todd Robinson and Brian Nichols, expressed concern about corruption in countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador, and the serious situation that the peoples of Venezuela and Nicaragua are going through in the face of persecution and the threat of dictatorships by Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/eeuu/2021/12/14/eeuu-el-departamento-de-estado-analiza-los-resultados-de-la-cumbre-por-la-democracia/

Report: How left-wing forces are regaining ground in Latin America

As progressives win key elections from Honduras to Peru, analysts point to changing regional dynamics. According to a research note issued by the Dutch multinational bank ING, “Latin American politics has already seen a decisive shift to the left in 2021 and it is not over yet.”
The analysis pointed to 2022 as a “big political year” for the region, highlighting upcoming elections in Colombia and Brazil. “Right-wing incumbents look vulnerable,” the bank noted.
Al Jazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/12/14/how-left-wing-forces-are-regaining-ground-in-latin-america

U.S. launches new efforts to counter transnational criminal organizations and illicit drugs

Drug trafficking organizations are among the most significant and well-resourced transnational criminal threats facing the United States as well as key allies and partners. These organizations often operate like international conglomerates, with their growing infiltration of commercial and economic activity fundamentally threatening free markets and financial systems critical to the stability and efficiency of the global economy. Their activities include large-scale corruption and violence, which undermine the rule of law and imperil democratic government.
The White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/12/15/fact-sheet-the-biden-administration-launches-new-efforts-to-counter-transnational-criminal-organizations-and-illicit-drugs/