Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 47

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Friday, January 21st, 2022

 

The Americas

Former Latin America presidents and activists warned that the region is torn “between democracies and dictatorships”

During a forum organized by the Inter-American Institute for Democracy, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the OAS, argued that “social backwardness is generated” by totalitarian regimes such as those in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2022/01/20/ex-presidentes-lideres-y-activistas-latinoamericanos-alertaron-que-la-region-se-debate-entre-democracias-y-dictaduras/

What Latin America”s leaders are prioritizing in 2022

Social unrest, polarisation and economic uncertainty amid the pandemic are just some of the biggest challenges Latin America has been facing over the past two years.
Weforum.org: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/01/latin-america-leaders-priorities-2022-covid19-economy/

Putin increases tension by supporting Ortega in Nicaragua

Unlike the majority of nations around the world, which have spoke out against the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, and do not recognize the result of recent elections riddled with human rights abuses, the Russian government, headed by President Vladimir Putin, not only recognized Ortega”s victory, but also gave him its support to carry out a bilateral agenda.
Aldianews.com: https://aldianews.com/articles/politics/putin-increases-tension-supporting-ortega-nicaragua/69279

Bolivia, Argentina and Chile are making progress in the creation of a “Lithium OPEC”

The governments of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile are maintaining contact with the idea of creating a lithium cartel for the South American area. This idea has been reinforced by the recent victory of the socialist Gabriel Boric in Chile, who could resume diplomatic relations with Bolivia, which are currently broken, and the support of the Chinese government.
The Rio Times: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/rio-business/bolivia-argentina-and-chile-are-making-progress-in-the-creation-of-a-lithium-opec/

Peru

U.S. issues a “critical” crime advisory to Americans visiting Peru

The Department of State”s threat rating for crime in Peru remains “Critical” – the highest rating on the threat rating scale. While we enjoy Peru”s offerings and hospitality, unfortunately, there have been recent reports of violent crimes in Lima and other residential neighborhoods, shopping areas, and other spaces.
U.S. embassy in Peru: https://pe.usembassy.gov/security-alert-crime-awareness-january-18-2022/

In Peru, courts “used like whips” to silence journalists

The author of a book about a powerful politician has been sentenced to two years in prison. Media advocates say the case is part of a trend in which the courts are being used to punish critics.
The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/19/world/americas/peru-christopher-acosta-cesar-acuna.html

Argentina

Argentina asked Interpol in Moscow for the arrest of the Iranian terrorist Mohsen Rezai, accused of the Amia attack

The Argentine Foreign Ministry has information that the Iranian soldier is in Russia. The Justice ordered to arrest him “for extradition purposes”,
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/01/20/el-gobierno-solicito-a-interpol-en-moscu-la-detencion-de-mohsen-rezai-terrorista-acusado-del-atentado-a-la-amia/

Be wary of Argentina”s latest economic “miracle”

According to the official narrative in Argentina, despite a mess inherited in 2019 from the previous administration, the Fernández government managed a rebound in growth, employment and investment to pre-crisis levels while improving public finances thanks to dynamic economic activity, higher and more progressive tax rates on wealth and corporate income, and a successful debt exchange in 2020. The most recently available figures, however, tell a more complicated story.
Americas Quarterly: https://americasquarterly.org/article/be-wary-of-argentinas-latest-economic-miracle/

Four jailed for plot to smuggle cocaine through Russia”s embassy in Argentina

A Russian court has sentenced four men to lengthy jail terms for trying to smuggle nearly 400kg (880lb) of cocaine in suitcases from the Russian embassy in. Argentina. The case caused controversy in Russia at the time, when media questioned contradictory official accounts of events.
The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/20/four-jailed-for-trying-to-smuggle-cocaine-through-russias-argentine-embassy

Bolivia

Bolivia asks the U.S. for information about a Bolivian national arrested for drug trafficking

The Bolivian government requests “official information” from the United States embassy in La Paz on the relationship between former anti-drug chiefs and a former police officer arrested in Colombia for drug trafficking
tn.com.arg: https://tn.com.ar/agencias/ap/2022/01/20/bolivia-pide-informacion-a-eeuu-sobre-detenido-por-narco/

Arce, Morales and Choquehuanca, three faces of power in Bolivia

The Bolivian Government is going through an atypical stage with three figures of power, President Luis Arce and Vice President David Choquehuanca, in the Executive power, in addition to the influence of Evo Morales from the presidency of the ruling Movement to Socialism (MAS), with struggles of leadership and dissenting views.
Hola News/EFE, in Spanish: https://holanews.com/arce-morales-y-choquehuanca-tres-rostros-del-poder-en-bolivia/

Ecuador

Mafias in Ecuador use Los Rios province as drug distribution center

Statistics reveal that until January 18, 2022, in Los Ríos -which already ranks second after Guayas among the most violent provinces in Ecuador- 24 murders have been registered, while in the same period of 2021 there were three.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/en-exclusiva/mafias-los-rios-centro-distribucion-droga-ecuador/

Inter-American court of Human Rights finds Ecuador responsible in El Universo libel case

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) today welcomed a recent decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hold Ecuador responsible for violating the right to free expression in a 2011 libel suit against the El Universo newspaper, during Rafael Correa”s administration.
CPJ.org: https://cpj.org/2021/12/inter-american-court-of-human-rights-finds-ecuador-responsible-in-el-universo-libel-case/

Analysis

José Azel: Is Nationalism good or bad?

Historians trace the origins of modern nationalism to the political upheaval of the 18th century associated with the American and French revolutions. In the 19th century, nationalism became one of the most influential political and social forces in history. Historians have also identified several types of nationalism, three of which, civic, ethnic, and economic nationalism I will introduce here for clarity.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/is-nationalism-good-or-bad/

Luis Guillermo Solís: Three reasons to be optimistic about Central American Democracy

Despite the grim setting in several Central American nations, there are indications that the current moment could lead to a better situation for Central American democracy, on at least three different fronts – from more active participation by women and young people, to better international cooperation.
Americas Quarterly: https://americasquarterly.org/article/three-reasons-to-be-optimistic-about-central-american-democracy/