Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 44

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Friday, January 14th, 2022

 

The Americas

Russia won’t rule out military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who led the Russian delegation in Monday’s talks with the U.S. in Geneva, said in televised remarks that he would “neither confirm nor exclude” the possibility that Russia could send military assets to Cuba and Venezuela if the talks fail and U.S. pressure on Russia mounts.
Associated Press: https://apnews.com/article/europe-russia-ukraine-vladimir-putin-moscow-473d4b2eebff4dc59d8e7dff9e8653ba

China’s new year ambitions for Latin America and the Caribbean

Amid the economic and public health challenges of COVID-19, Beijing has steadily deepened its engagement with the region. Key to advancing this cooperation is a notably large number of current and/or proposed China-CELAC forums (22 in total) to further specific initiatives.
The Diplomat: https://thediplomat.com/2022/01/chinas-new-year-ambitions-for-latin-america-and-the-caribbean/

Latin America: alarming reversal of basic freedoms

Latin America is facing some of its gravest human rights challenges in decades, Human Righs Watch (HRW) said in its new-released World Report 2022. “Latin America is experiencing such an alarming reversal of basic freedoms that we now have to defend democratic spaces that we once took for granted”, said Tamara Taraciuk, Americas acting director at HRW.
hrw.org: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/01/13/latin-america-alarming-reversal-basic-freedoms

Landlocked Paraguay becoming major cocaine link to Europe

The son of a former Paraguayan congressman has been accused of overseeing large cocaine shipments to Europe, illustrating how corrupt elites have influenced Paraguay’s emergence as a top supplier of the European cocaine pipeline.
Insight Crime: https://insightcrime.org/news/corruption-and-geography-key-to-paraguays-emerging-cocaine-traffic/

How Brazil’s port of Santos became cocaine’s world trade center

Three shipments of cocaine were caught on the same day as they were about to head to France, Spain and Ghana. All originated from the Brazilian port of Santos, from where cocaine shipments radiate around the world.
Insight Crime: https://insightcrime.org/news/how-brazils-port-of-santos-became-cocaines-world-trade-center/

Ecuador

New congressional investigation in Ecuador links Colombians Juan Manuel Santos and Piedad Cordoba to Alex Saab, Maduro’s front man

A dossier of the investigation was presented to Colombian President Iván Duque and will also be sent to the Prosecutor’s Office for further analysis. Among the names in the document, Piedad Córdoba and Juan Manuel Santos stand out.
El Espectador, in Spanish: https://www.elespectador.com/judicial/la-investigacion-que-comprometeria-a-piedad-cordoba-y-juan-manuel-santos-con-saab/

Three perverse incentives turned Correa’s Sucre System into a criminal money laundering machine

The Sucre compensation system is in the eye of the hurricane, thanks to the criminal proceedings against the Colombian businessman Álex Saab, in the U.S., and the investigations of the Supervision Commission of Ecuador’s National Assembly.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/en-exclusiva/tres-incentivos-convirtieron-sucre-lavanderia-dinero/

U.S. willing to provide list of Ecuadorian “narco-generals” to authorities

Washington could consider delivering this information through the corresponding channels of an international criminal assistance mechanism, within a judicial process, said Ecuadorian minister Alexandra Vela.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/politica/vela-estados-unidos-generales-cooperacion-penal/

Peru

Peru’s Castillo meets secretly with operatives linked to Sendero Luminoso (Shinning Path)

In a secret, non-registered meeting last January 11th, 2022, president Pedro Castillo met with Mery Coila Ramirez, former secretary of Movadef, an organization considered to be a front of the terrorist group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso).
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/investigacion/pedro-castillo-recibe-a-sus-aliados-falseando-el-registro-de-visitas-de-palacio-peru-libre-movadef-mery-coila-frente-nacional-por-la-democracia-calle-sarratea-noticia/

Argentina

Fury in Argentina as top Iranian official wanted for AMIA bombing atrocity is feted by Nicaraguan, Cuban leaders

Jewish leaders in Argentina have expressed fury at the presence in Nicaragua of a leading Iranian official wanted for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, at the same time accusing the Argentine foreign ministry of doing nothing to secure his detention under the terms of an outstanding international arrest notice.
Algemeiner: https://www.algemeiner.com/2022/01/12/fury-in-argentina-as-top-iranian-official-wanted-for-amia-bombing-atrocity-is-feted-by-nicaraguan-cuban-leaders/

Argentina heads towards latest IMF deadline with little sign of progress

Peronist government caught between Washington lender and its own fractious congress as economy sputters.
Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/7f336082-b9a5-421f-abbb-28add05e585f

Bolivia

Human Rights Watch reports 16 years of political used of the judiciary in Bolivia, from Evo Morales to Luis Arce

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in its World Report 2022 said former President Evo Morales undermined judicial independence during his government. In the same way, Jeanine Añez’s government promoted cases against opponents with unfounded charges and that the current administration of Luis Arce is prosecuting Añez without evidences.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2022/1/13/human-rights-watch-observa-16-anos-de-uso-politico-de-la-justicia-en-bolivia-320604.html

Evo Morales’ party MAS says president Luis Arce’s cabinet abandoned him and pushes for changes

The leadership of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) persists in its request to change the cabinet of President Luis Arce. The vice president of the ruling party, Gerardo García, said there is a “vacuum” in Arce’s administration since both the vice president, David Choquehuanca, and that the ministers of State reportedly “abandoned” Arce.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2022/1/13/gerardo-garcia-el-vice-ministros-dejan-luis-arce-solo-320622.html

Analysis

Carlos Sánchez Berzain: The swearing-in of Nicaragua’s dictator will signal the defenselessness of democracy

After perpetrating all possible crimes to continue holding power in the model of 21st Century Socialism, Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo now stage the “swearing-in of Nicaragua’s dictator” on the basis of the fraudulent and macabre events held on 7 November of 2021 that were the so-called “elections”. It is the latest and most recent success of the “vote-catching dictatorships” of Castrochavism in which “people vote but do not elect”
Inter-American Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/the-swearing-in-of-nicaraguas-dictator-will-signal-the-defenselessness-of-democracy/