Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 48

Boletín Interamerican Watch

Inter-American Watch

Monday, January 24th, 2022

The Americas

US to use Summit of the Americas to press nations on democracy

The United States will assess the “commitment to democracy” of the region”s leaders in order to decide who will be invited to the Ninth Summit of the Americas, to be held in Los Angeles on June 6 to 10.
Buenos Aires Times: https://batimes.com.ar/news/latin-america/us-to-use-summit-of-the-americas-to-press-nations-on-democracy.phtml

Examining Russian and Chinese military operations in Venezuela

he support of Russia and China to the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has gone far beyond the political and economic realms, and encompasses military and defense cooperation that has helped harden Maduro”s dictatorship and enhanced its capabilities to cause chaos with its neighbors.
Dialogo: https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/examining-russian-and-chinese-military-operations-in-venezuela/ – .Ye3d3FhOnFo

Russia”s latest return to Latin America

In recent years, Russia has left a strategic impact on Latin America and the Caribbean far beyond its limited resources and conventional military power projection capabilities. It has done so through a combination of selective threats, military and commercial activities, and information warfare operations.
The Global Americans: https://theglobalamericans.org/2022/01/russia-return-latin-america/

Constitutionalists warn how corruption is undermining democracy in Latin America

Constitutionalists from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, among other Latin American countries, warned about how political corruption and impunity are undermining democracy in the region.
Clarin, in Spanish: https://www.clarin.com/politica/constitucionalistas-advierten-corrupcion-socavando-democracia-america-latina_0_El859oNa1s.html

What”s China up to in Central America?

China, in short, is posing significant new challenges and competition for the US in its sphere of influence, and Washington has grounds for viewing Beijing”s behaviour cautiously, especially when it comes to port construction and telecommunications.
The Strategist: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/whats-china-up-to-in-central-america/

Chile”s Gabriel Boric: “Venezuela is a failed experience and the main evidence is the 6 million Venezuelans in diaspora”

The elected president of Chile, from the left, harshly criticized the regime of Nicolás Maduro. He also repudiated Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/venezuela/2022/01/22/gabriel-boric-venezuela-es-una-experiencia-que-ha-fracasado-y-la-principal-demostracion-son-los-6-millones-de-venezolanos-en-diaspora/

Castro takes command in Honduras with drug trafficking and corruption permeating everything

In a strongly conservative country, the arrival of Xiomara Castro may be a small boost for the improvement of Honduran women”s rights. She expects a closer relationship with the countries of the Latin American left, but always with an eye on the United States.
Proceso, in Spanish: https://www.proceso.com.mx/internacional/2022/1/23/castro-toma-el-mando-en-honduras-con-el-narcotrafico-la-corrupcion-impregnandolo-todo-279635.html

Argentina

Pandora Papers: the offshore network of parallel businesses between Nestor Kirchner and Hugo Chavez comes to light

The lobbyists set up an offshore network between Panama and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) that began days after the agreement between Néstor Kirchner and Hugo Chávez.
La Nacion, in Spanish: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/pandora-papers-sale-a-la-luz-el-entramado-offshore-de-los-intermediarios-de-las-coimas-entre-nid23012022/

Argentina will pay this week $720 millions to IMF in spite of the country”s critical reserves

The Argentine government seeks to avoid delays in payments due next week, while an agreement with the agency is delayed. But he acknowledges that the available funds are not enough to cover the March payments.
Clarin, in Spanish: https://www.clarin.com/economia/gobierno-afirma-reservas-pagar-viernes-us-720-millones-fmi_0_Suocfu1J2t.html

Zoran, the Serbian who came to Argentina to become the Drug Lord of South America

Wanted for trafficking liquid cocaine in organic wine, Zoran Jaksic abandoned his wife and daughter to escape the DEA. Captured in Peru, he financed a tunnel to escape from a prison. A federal court in Morón, Argentina, awaits his extradition.
oicanadian.com/TodoNoticias: https://oicanadian.com/zoran-the-serbian-who-came-to-argentina-to-become-the-drug-czar-in-south-america/

Russia-Argentina cocaine plot finally resolved with lengthy convictions

Five years after a multimillion-dollar drug shipment was discovered in suitcases at the Russian Embassy in Argentina, a Russian court has convicted four men of trying to smuggle cocaine on a diplomatic aircraft.
Insight Crime: https://insightcrime.org/news/russia-argentina-jointly-take-down-fake-diplomats-cocaine-plot/

Peru

Congress approves new law that limits call to referendum to modify constitution

The new law establishes that any constitutional reform initiative that is going to be submitted to popular consultation must first pass through Congress, following the procedure of Article 206 of the Constitution.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/peru/2022/01/21/congreso-de-la-republica-pleno-aprueba-por-insistencia-la-ley-sobre-referendum/

Peru “needs to be refounded”, says president Castillo, criticizing new law on referendum

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, affirmed this Sunday that “the country needs to be refounded in the face of an evident crisis,” criticizing the fact that the opposition Congress has approved a law to limit the call for a referendum on constitutional reform issues.
EFE, in Spanish: https://www.efe.com/efe/america/politica/peru-necesita-ser-refundado-dice-castillo-al-criticar-la-ley-sobre-el-referendum/20000035-4723876

Castillo”s Peru Libre expels vice-president Dina Boluarte, furthering division within president”s party

The party”s Disciplinary Commission made this decision because the vice president expressed her discrepancies with Cerrón in the media, which constitutes a serious offense according to the party”s statute.
Caretas, in Spanish: https://caretas.pe/politica/peru-libre-expulsa-a-dina-boluarte-por-desprestigiar-a-vladimir-cerron/

Maduro regime tortures a Peruvian in Venezuela

Walter Gutiérrez, Ombudsman of Peru, requested urgent information from the Foreign Minister Óscar Maúrtua regarding what actions the Peruvian government has taken in the case of Peruvian-Venezuelan Luis Humberto De La Sotta Quiroga, who has been detained and tortured by the Maduro”s dictatorship since 2018.
Expreso, in Spanish: https://www.expreso.com.pe/actualidad/nicolas-maduro-tortura-a-peruano-en-venezuela/

Ecuador

Ecuador to increase police manpower in Guayaquil afeter killings

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso said on Sunday he will send an additional 1,100 police officers to coastal Guayaquil and increase military presence there amid a spate of violent deaths the government says are connected to the fight against the drug trade.
Reuters/Yahoo! News: https://news.yahoo.com/ecuador-increase-police-manpower-guayaquil-002633064.html

Ecuador”s Lasso to spend $9 millions to reinforce National Police in Guayaquil

After the recent massacre in the south of Guayaquil, with almost 20 dead in a 5-day period, President Guillermo Lasso ordered the transfer of the Vice Minister of the Interior to the city to coordinate security tasks. He also appointed a new Police Commander.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/lo-ultimo/presidente-guillermo-lasso-muertes-violentas/

Drug trafficking in Ecuador left 1,200 dead in 2021

Violence linked to drug trafficking in Ecuador left 1,200 people dead in 2021, when agents seized 210 tons of drugs, the highest number recorded in the country, police commander General Tanya Varela said.
El Nuevo Herald, in Spanish: https://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/america-latina/article257588373.html

Bolivia

Evo Morales” former anti-drug chief arrested in Bolivia

The Bolivian police arrested Maximiliano Dávila, who in 2019 was the anti-drug chief of former President Evo Morales, under accusations of illicit enrichment and links to drug trafficking.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/agencias/2022/01/24/detenido-ex-jefe-antidrogas-boliviano-acusado-de-nexos-con-el-narcotrafico/

Former Evo”s anti-drug chief keeps silent as prosecutors extends investigation to his family

The Prosecutor”s Office is investigating him for the crime of legitimizing illicit profits based on a DEA report, which links him to a complex network of drug traffickers.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/seguridad/2022/1/23/davila-se-acoge-al-silencio-la-fiscalia-amplia-las-pesquisas-su-familia-321520.html

From narco-jets to narco-cops: routes and links of the former Bolivian major accused in US courts

The drug trafficking scandal shakes Bolivia again due to the direct involvement of high-ranking police officials in drug trafficking. The arrest of former major Omar Rojas Echeverría revealed a series of police, family and political connections with an international network that transported cocaine from Bolivia, Peru and other regions to the United States.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/seguridad/2022/1/23/del-narcojet-narcopolicias-la-ruta-nexos-de-rojas-el-capo-de-la-droga-321494.html

Evo Morales insists on debating a new constitution for Bolivia, but doesn”t have support

“The Law must be respected, the Constitution must be respected, but not the Constitution nor the Law are going to subjugate the people for life. The Constitution and the laws must be adapted to the needs of the people,” remarked the leader of the MAS. Evo”s proposal doesn”t have support within his ranks.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/pais/evo-insiste-en-debatir-una-nueva-constitucion-entre-originarios-milenarios-y-los-invasores_264662

Analysis

Carlos Sánchez Berzain: The axis of confrontation of dictatorships against democracies is worldwide

The clash between the dictatorial regimes and their approach with democratic governments and their proposed actions is not a matter of left versus right, as it is insistently pretended to be shown. The confrontation between democracy and dictatorship is not ideological, it is existential.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/the-axis-of-confrontation-of-dictatorships-against-democracies-is-worldwide/

Andrés Oppenheimer: Unless Biden get serious now, the Summit of the Americas he”s hosting will be a fiasco

Biden will have to work hard to prevent this summit — scheduled for the week of June 6 in Los Angeles — from becoming a big fiasco, because, among other things, U.S. influence in the region has been rapidly declining over the past five years. Already running late, the organization of the Summit is taking place without a US ambassador to the 34-member Organization of American States.
The Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article257596988.html

Events

The Ucraine crisis and its impact in the Americas

Conference will be held on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022, at 3:00 pm, hosted by the Interamerican Institute for Democracy. Participants: Mariano Caucino, Luis Fleichman, Luis González Posada, Ricardo Israel, Iliana Lavastida, Guillermo Lousteau, Fluvio Pompeo, Beatrice Rangel, Tomás Regalado, Otto Reich, Carlos Sánchez Berzaín and Francisco Santos.
Link to follow the conference: https://youtu.be/kyxaKXO0kXk