Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 40

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Wednesday, January 5th 2022

The Americas

Leftists Are Ascendant in Latin America as Key Elections Loom

This year, leftist politicians are the favorites to win presidential elections in Colombia and Brazil, taking over from right-wing incumbents, which would put the left and center-left in power in the six largest economies in the region, stretching from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego.
The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/04/world/americas/leftists-elections-latin-america.html

The Americas: Long on criminality, short on democracy in year to come

Destination markets for criminal commodities from Latin America, mainly drugs, may well see disruption, although likely less than in 2021, given how markets have adapted to the pandemic over time.
Insight Crime: https://insightcrime.org/news/gamechangers-2021-criminal-plenty-amid-democratic-shortage-2022/

Argentina

China helps fulfill Argentina’s energy dream with world’s southernmost hydroelectric dams

Argentina and China are combining efforts to complete two dams in southern Patagonia, which will realize Argentine’s “energy dream” of being less dependent on energy imports, according to the Xinhua news agency.
Ukranews: https://ukranews.com/en/news/825160-china-helps-fulfill-argentina-s-energy-dream-with-world-s-southernmost-hydroelectric-dams

 

Ecuador

Ecuador oil sector to see busy 2022, hopes to attract private investment

Ecuador’s oil and gas industry is on track for a busy year of privatization and E&P contract overhauls in 2022 as President Guillermo Lasso seeks to open up the heavily indebted Andean country to foreign investment.
S&P Global: https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/oil/010322-commodities-2022-ecuador-oil-sector-to-see-busy-year-hopes-to-attract-private-investment

Drug trafficking network after illegal mining in Ecuador

Drug trafficking, human trafficking and other illicit activities are linked to an illegal mining network in the city of Zaruma, in southeastern Ecuador, the Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources said.
Associated Press/San Diego Tribune: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/en-espanol/noticias/story/2022-01-03/red-de-narcotrafico-tras-mineria-ilegal-en-ecuador

In Ecuador, influence of drug trafficking affected life in neighborhoods

The noise of the shots became common among the narrow passages of the Las Cabras de Durán hill, in Guayas. The residents of this popular sector say that throughout 2021 they endured shootings, murders and bodies abandoned in the middle of the steps.
El Comercio, in Spanish: https://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/seguridad/narcotrafico-barrios-guayaquil-duran-cadaveres.html

 

Bolivia

Entrepreneurs: Unemployment is the critical point for this year in Bolivia

The Confederation of Private Entrepreneurs of Bolivia (CEPB) warns that the main threat looming in 2022 is that unemployment and underemployment levels continue to rise. To this must be added the climate of conflict and polarization as a risk.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/economia/2022/1/3/empresarios-el-desempleo-es-el-punto-critico-para-este-ano-319687.html

UN Rapporteur will visit Bolivia to assess independence of judicial system

The special rapporteur of the United Nations (UN), Diego García-Sayán, will arrive in the country in February to evaluate the independence of the Bolivian justice system.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2022/01/04/el-relator-de-la-onu-diego-garcia-sayan-visitara-bolivia-para-evaluar-la-independencia-de-la-justicia/

 

Peru

Peru’s Attorney General opened a preliminary investigation against President Pedro Castillo

Peru’s Attorney General Zoraida Ávalos started a preliminary investigation against the president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, according to sources from the Public Ministry. The investigation would be reportedly for contracts awarded irregularly for dozens of millions of dollars, involving two impresarios closed to Castillo.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/peru/2022/01/04/fiscal-de-la-nacion-abrio-investigacion-preliminar-contra-el-presidente-pedro-castillo/

The new Peruvian government’s threat to the Western hemisphere

“In less than six months in office, the radical government of President Castillo has abandoned the pro-Western foreign policy of Peru and has abruptly changed sides, now aligning itself with China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina. President Castillo’s Peru Libre party is a full-fledged member of the Forum of Sao Paulo, the Latin American Communist International comprised of 124 hard-left and socialist parties, including the Communist Party of Cuba. The Forum and the Castillo government of Peru are strongly supported by the Russian and Chinese governments and media.”
Center for Security Policy: https://centerforsecuritypolicy.org/the-new-peruvian-governments-threat-to-the-western-hemisphere/

 

Analysis

Carlos Sánchez Berzain: Twelve certainties to understand 2022

Calendar year 2022 has started and is vital for the survival of the peoples and the continued existence of democracy to understand what is happening. To understand means “to have a clear idea of things, to perfectly know something, to know”. As we start the third year of the third decade of the 21st century, the factual reality shows us things and facts overwhelmingly clear, truths, certainties notoriously known. Let’s remember -from a descriptive, yet not all inclusive- perspective that:
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/twelve-certainties-to-understand-2022/

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Sixty-Three anversaries of the Cuban revolution

It is worth reviewing what happened in Cuba in the preceding months. Year after year, and we are already on our way to the 63rd anniversary, I said we were near the end. I believed it, but it was not true. I thought that Fidel was interested in the fate of the Cuban people and not just doing what he wanted. Sebastián Arcos, in a statement to the BBC from Florida International University, thought otherwise. He was right. Fidel was willing, as during the Missile Crisis, for everyone to die, as long as he didn’t have to give in.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/sixty-three-anniversaries-of-the-cuban-revolution/