Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 37

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

The Americas

How Organized Crime devoured the Amazon Rainforest

Deforestation is more intertwined with criminal activities than ever. Those involved in gold mining, cattle ranching, drug trafficking and illegal logging are working hand-in-hand, either with each other or with public and private interests to destroy the lungs of the planet.
Insight Crime: https://insightcrime.org/news/gamechangers-2021-organized-crime-devoured-amazon-rainforest/

Southcom plans a space component to help fight crime, grow ties in the Americas

U.S. Southern Command is planning to expand its military space engagement in the Americas to help partner nations in ways China and Russia don’t, in part by combating crime from drug trafficking to deforestation and illegal fishing.
Air Force Magazine: https://www.airforcemag.com/southcom-plans-a-space-component-to-help-fight-crime-grow-ties-in-the-americas/

Argentina

Evangelicals a rising force inside Argentine prisons

Stories of convicted murderers embracing an evangelical faith behind bars, is common in the lockups of Argentina’s Santa Fe province and its capital city of Rosario. Many here began peddling drugs as teenagers and got stuck in a spiral of violence that led some to their graves and others to overcrowded prisons divided between two forces: drug lords and preachers.
Crux: https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-americas/2021/12/evangelicals-a-rising-force-inside-argentine-prisons

Argentina goes for Chinese capital to finance 17 infrastructure projects

As part of the ratification of the comprehensive strategic alliance that Argentina has with China, the government of Alberto Fernández has just sent to Beijing the list of 17 infrastructure projects that it proposed to be fully financed with Chinese capital.
The Canadian: https://thecanadian.news/2021/12/28/argentina-goes-for-chinese-capital-to-finance-17-infrastructure-works/

Peru

Peru’s Castillo questioned for 4 hours about his involvement in illegal military appointments

For almost four hours, President Pedro Castillo answer questions posed by prosecutors in the Government Palace, about his involvement in the alleged irregularities in the recent military promotion process in the Armed Forces.
El Comercio, in Spanish: https://elcomercio.pe/politica/en-vivo-pedro-castillo-declara-hoy-ante-fiscal-por-intromision-en-ascensos-en-las-ffaa-fiscalia-palacio-de-gobierno-fiscal-de-la-nacion-zoraida-avalos-fuerzas-armadas-noticia/?ref=ecr

Hundreds of policemen arrested for links to drug trafficking organizations in Peru

After long months of investigation, the agents of the Orión Special Intelligence Group, of the Anti-Drug Directorate (Dirandro) of the National Police of Peru, managed to capture corrupt officers in activity and in retirement who were part of an organization dedicated to the theft of cocaine which was then resold to other mafias.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/peru/2021/12/28/vraem-131-policias-fueron-capturados-por-pertenecer-a-organizaciones-ligadas-al-narcotrafico/

Peru’s Castillo sought to deport 41 illegal Venezuelans because people’s “outcry” for crimes committed by them

Peruvian Foreign Minister Óscar Maúrtua said that the motivation behind the operation that attempted to expel 41 undocumented Venezuelan citizens from Peru on December 22 was the “outcry of public opinion” for the crimes attributed to Venezuelans.
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/oscar-maurtua-hay-un-clamor-porque-determinados-ciudadanos-venezolanos-han-estado-cometiendo-delitos-nndc-noticia/

Ecuador

Ecuador ends state of emergency in prisons but soldiers will stay

The state of exception in the Ecuadorian penitentiary system, ordered by the Government three months ago, concluded this Tuesday with the decision to keep soldiers and policemen on vigil to avoid new massacres such as the one that occurred on September 28 in a Guayaquil prison.
EFE/Swissinfo, in Spanish: https://www.swissinfo.ch/spa/ecuador-cárceles_ecuador-pone-fin-a-estado-de-excepción-en-sus-prisiones-pero-deja-a-soldados/47224090

In 2021 Ecuador went through its most violent year in a decade

Between January 1 and December 27 of this year, 2,440 violent deaths were registered in Ecuador, including murders, homicides, femicides and death by ‘sicarios’, 1,099 more deaths than last year.
Ambito, in Spanish: https://www.ambito.com/mundo/ecuador/vivio-2021-su-ano-mas-violento-la-decada-n5342961

Bolivia

Anti-narcotic task force seized a record 20 tons of cocaine in 2021

In 2020, Bolivian authorities seized 15.5 tons, a significant increase of almos 5 tons in one year. Authorities also arrested more than 2,700 drug traffickers, destroyed 26 drug labs and seized 16 planes and 2 helicopters.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/pais/este-ano-la-felcn-incauto-19-toneladas-de-cocaina_261385

Nicaragua

Nicaragua seizes former Taiwan embassy to give it to China

The Nicaraguan government has seized the former embassy and diplomatic offices of Taiwan, saying they belong to China. The Ortega’s regime broke off relations with Taiwan this month, saying it would recognize only the mainland government. Before departing, Taiwanese diplomats attempted to donate the properties to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Managua. But Ortega’s government said late Sunday that any such donation would be invalid and that the building in an upscale Managua neighborhood belongs to China.
Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-12-27/nicaragua-seizes-former-taiwan-embassy-to-give-it-to-china

Analysis

Carlos Alberto Montaner: What Happened in Chile?

There was even talk of a “model.” Chile was a very positive thing that happened to Latin America for many years. From the 1980s until October 18, 2019, 35 or 40 years passed in which, apparently, an exhausting discussion had ended: whether a nation depended on the State to achieve development, or whether it was enough to keep the focus on civil society, the market and globalization to achieve the long-awaited takeoff.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/what-happened-in-chile/