Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 49

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Wednesday January 26th, 2022

The Americas

Corruption in Latin America: Uruguay is top of the class, Venezuela is the red lantern

According to Transparency International, corruption has been entrenched in Latin America for a decade, with little progress and many setbacks in terms of democracy and human rights, which today warned of the exceptional deterioration in Central America.
The Rio Times: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/mercosur/corruption-in-latin-america-uruguay-is-top-of-the-class-venezuela-is-the-red-lantern/

The 10 political threats that Latin America and the Caribbean will face in 2022

Our region will face a very complex year, with risks ranging from the erosion of democracy, the return of violence, the rise of climate change, cybercrime, to the strategic confrontation between China and the United States, according to the Center for International Studies of the Catholic University of Chile.
La Republica, in Spanish: https://larepublica.pe/mundo/2022/01/25/amenazas-politicas-que-enfrentaran-america-latina-y-el-caribe-en-2022/

Islamic university to be created in Latin America

Latin American Islamic association gathered in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo recently to sign an agreement to create the Latin American and Caribbean Islamic University, an institution that will allow future muslim leaders to study in their own region, without the need to move to Middle Eastern countries and other Muslim nations.
Arab News: https://www.arabnews.com/node/2011501/world

Honduras political crisis deepens ahead of president-elect”s swearing-in

Rival factions of Honduras” newly-elected Congress held duelling first sessions Tuesday as a split in president-elect Xiomara”s Castro”s party deepened two days before her swearing-in. With the United States watching closely, about a third of the 50 MPs of Castro”s leftist Libre party pressed on with a rebellion that could threaten her hold on Congress.
Buenos Aires Times: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/latin-america/honduras-political-crisis-deepens-ahead-of-president-elects-swearing-in.phtml

El Salvador”s plan to create the first Bitcoin-powered nation is tanking the economy—and is a mess by every measure

El Salvador may be pushing crypto—but its citizens aren”t necessarily on boar. Fortune: https://fortune.com/2022/01/19/el-salvador-bitcoin-economy-distressed-debt/

Peru

Peru”s Castillo to CNN: I”m not a politician. I wasn”t trained to be president

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, declared that he was not educated in politics and did not receive any training for that position, according to what he said on CNN en Español in his first exclusive interview with an international media outlet.
CNN in Spanish: https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2022/01/24/pedro-castillo-entrevista-orix/

The most outstanding phrases of Pedro Castillo in his interview on CNN

In a conversation with Fernando del Rincón in “Conclusions”, Castillo is convinced that he can finish his mandate, despite his inexperience and the scandals that have surrounded his government, which has barely lasted six months.
CNN in Spanish: https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2022/01/25/pedro-castillo-frases-conclusiones-orix/

Interview, Part I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcKEo1sXhRI

Interview, Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ9a0hhPF7E

Karelim López, Bolivia and the lies of President Pedro Castillo in his interview with CNN

The president admitted on CNN something that his allies and the official press vociferously denied: he “greeted businessmen” in the clandestine office of the Breña district and recalled – now he did – that he met with the lobbyist Karelim López at the Government Palace. Castillo also contradicted himself, because in the first part of the interview last Monday, he stated that he did not know her. But in the second part he said: “Yes, she came to the office, I received her.”
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/pedro-castillo-cnn-fernando-rincon-bolivia-mar-para-bolivia-karelim-lopez-bolivia-y-las-mentiras-del-presidente-pedro-castillo-en-entrevista-a-cnn-noticia/

Peru eyes sanctions over Repsol oil spill, doesn”t rule out production halt

Peru”s Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez said on Monday the government was looking at sanctioning a major local refinery owned by Spanish energy firm Repsol (REP.MC) after an oil spill last week, and did not rule out suspending operations at the facility. Vásquez said some political parties were calling for the government to cancel the Pampilla refinery”s contract or even expropriate it over the disaster, but said options were still being looked at.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/peru-eyes-sanctions-over-repsol-oil-spill-doesnt-rule-out-production-halt-2022-01-24/

Bolivia

Bolivia”s Arce distances himself from Evo Morales to project his administration

Luis Arce”s decision not to make adjustments to his cabinet showed he wants to prioritize his administration and make it clear he is the one who is in power, not Morales.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2022/1/26/ven-que-arce-toma-distancia-de-morales-para-proyectarse-321739.html

“Narcopolicías”: the five former heads of Bolivian law enforcement who fell for their links to drug trafficking

They hid in plain sight behind the uniform. And not only that, but this became his privileged weapon to break the law. These five former police chiefs fell after investigations by the US Department of Justice”s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), revealing their infamous links to drug trafficking.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2022/01/25/narcopolicias-los-cinco-ex-jefes-de-fuerzas-del-orden-de-bolivia-que-cayeron-por-sus-vinculos-con-el-trafico-ilicito/

Peru”s Castillo says he will promote a citizen consultation on the issue of the sea access for Bolivia

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, opened the possibility of carrying out a citizen consultation so that Peruvians decide if that nation grants Bolivia an outlet to the sea, although he clarified: “I am not saying that I am going to give the sea to Bolivia. We will agree, we will consult the people, for that we need the people to express themselves (…). What would happen if the Peruvians agree?” Castillo said in an interview with the international network CNN.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2022/1/26/presidente-de-peru-plantea-consulta-ciudadana-sobre-mar-para-bolivia-321735.html

Ecuador

Illicit gold mining in Ecuador, challenges and considerations

Although exploration of the country”s mineral resources is not complete, the government estimates that the mining of gold and copper will generate around USD $4 billion in tax revenue and about USD $40 billion in exports over the next decade.
The Global Americans: https://theglobalamericans.org/2022/01/illicit-gold-mining-in-ecuador-challenges-and-considerations/

Mafias, one step more dangerous than drug cartels, operate in Ecuador

Unlike cartels whose “engine” is drug trafficking, mafias are not dedicated to a single type of criminal activity. They control the trafficking of illegal substances, but they also profit from human trafficking, trafficking in organs, arms and gold, depending on the type of organization.
La Hora, in Spanish: https://www.lahora.com.ec/pais/mafias-muertes-violentas-presencia-ecuador/

Argentina

Key week for IMF talks: Argentina due to pay US$731 million on Friday

Argentina”s debt restructuring talks with the International Monetary Fund are entering a crucial phase, with the nation facing payments worth more than $1 billion in the next two weeks.
Buenos Aires Times: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/economy/key-week-for-imf-talks-argentina-due-to-pay-us731-million-on-friday.phtml

Lunch with Putin in Russia, a trip to China and two days in Barbados, details emerge of president”s next trip

Details have begun to emerge of President Alberto Fernández”s next foreign trip. In the first days of February, the president will embark on a new diplomatic tour taking in Russia, China and Barbados, during which he will meet the three national leaders for talks on trade and international cooperation.
Buenos Aires Times: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/lunch-with-putin-in-russia-a-trip-to-china-and-two-days-in-barbados-details-emerge-of-presidents-next-trip.phtml

Cristina Kirchner welcomed as family in Honduras for the inauguration of Xiomara Castro

The Argentine vice president and her entourage have already touched down at the Toncotín International Airport, in the Honduran capital, for the inauguration of Xiomara Castro; in addition, armored cars and security personnel arrived for the American vice president Kamala Harris, who will also attend.
La Nacion, in Spanish: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/asi-llego-anoche-cristina-kirchner-a-honduras-donde-tuvo-un-recibimiento-familiar-nid26012022/

Analysis

Peru: Presidential Mythomania

The Presidential mythomania in Peru seems to reach paroxysm when he affirms that he was unaware that some of the ministers appointed by his government had links with Movadef, when this front body of the terrorist organization Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) is, since its foundation, one of the pillars of the teachers” union that he headed.
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/opinion/mitomania-presidencial-noticia/

Argentina: the crisis in its most crucial days

A program with the International Monetary Fund could mean, in the long run, the defeat of the Government in the presidential elections within two years; the option, a break without a program, would be much worse

Events

IDD presents a new book about “The Cultural War of the Sao Paulo forum”, by Alejandro Peña Esclusa

Alejandro Peña Esclusa is a Venezuelan writer, analyst and political consultant. He is an expert on the topic of the Sao Paulo Forum. He pioneered the first protests against the Venezuelan regime. He was imprisoned in El Helicoide. To this day he continues to be politically persecuted. Peña Esclusa will present his book this Thursday, January 27th, 2022, at 6:00 pm EST.
Link to the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE9Xu3YWTLI&feature=emb_imp_woyt