Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 53

Boletim Informativo Interamerican Watch

Inter-American Watch

Friday February 4th, 2022

The Americas

LatAm’s Fight Against Corruption “Grounds to a Halt’

The fight against corruption in Latin America has grounded to a halt, says Transparency International, adding that the scourge is undermining democracy and human rights in the region.
Near Shore Americas: https://nearshoreamericas.com/latin-america-corruption-halt/

Brother of former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba arrested on charges of drug trafficking

The Federal Court of the southern district of New York, in Manhattan, has a case against Alvaro Cordoba Ruiz for various crimes, including drug trafficking and illegal possession of weapons.
NTN24, in Spanish: https://www.ntn24.com/amp/america-latina/colombia/autoridades-colombianas-detuvieron-al-hermano-de-piedad-de-cordoba-391390/

In America’s Backyard, China To Set Up A Massive Nuclear Power Plant

China has inked a contract with Argentina to build the $8 billion Atucha III nuclear power plant, resurrecting a project that had been lying dormant for years. China’s domestically designed third-generation “Hualong One’ technology would be used in this project.
The Eurasian Times: https://eurasiantimes.com/china-to-set-up-nuclear-power-plant-using-hualong-one-tech/?amp

Economic recovery and corruption, greatest challenges for Costa Rica

Next Sunday, 3.5 million Costa Ricans will elect the president and the 57 deputies of the Legislative Assembly for the period 2022-2026, amid an environment of high indecision among voters (41%) and concern about corruption and the economy.
EFE, in Spanish: https://yhoo.it/3rr0ljm

Latin America left divided? Boric, Castillo and Petro condemn Nicolás Maduro

Despite the rise of the left in some Latin American countries, the controversial president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, is losing more and more strength in the region, after in recent days, the president-elect of Chile, Gabriel Boric, the President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, and Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro distanced themselves from the Bolivarian regime.
La Nación. In Spanish: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.lanacion.com.ar/el-mundo/gabriel-boric-pedro-castillo-y-gustavo-petro-las-fuertes-declaraciones-de-tres-lideres-de-izquierda-nid02022022/%3FoutputType=amp

US Senator Bob Menéndez requests narcotics kingpin designation for Honduran ex-president Juan Orlando Hernandez

The president of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate, Senator Robert Menéndez, requested this Thursday to sanction and designate former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández as a “major foreign drug trafficker,” according to a letter he sent to the Secretaries of State and the Treasury in Washington.
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/chair/release/chairman-menendez-officially-requests-narcotics-kingpin-designation-for-honduran-ex-president-juan-orlando-hernandez-

Peru

Peru’s Minister of Finance quits amid government chaos

Peru’s finance minister Pedro Francke, widely seen as one of the more moderate and experienced figures in the chaotic leftwing government of president Pedro Castillo, has quit amid a dramatic overhaul of the country’s cabinet. Castillo has been forced into naming a new cabinet — the third of his turbulent six-month reign — due to the resignation on Monday of his prime minister Mirtha Vásquez.
Financial Times: https://amp.ft.com/content/f76de6b3-48f6-4f37-a0fe-f3b113dd028e

Peru new PM Denies Domestic Violence Allegations as New Crisis Heats Up

Peru’s new prime minister, Hector Valer, denied on Thursday that he had beat his daughter and late wife – the subject of two police complaints – as the country’s third Cabinet in six months appeared to be on increasingly shaky ground. “I am not an abuser, I am not someone who hits (others), I am not what the complaint at the police station says,” Valer said at a news conference on his third day on the job. The allegations put Peru’s Cabinet at fresh risk of failing to earn a confidence vote from Congress, with some parties saying they would vote against him.
Reuters: https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-02-03/peru-pm-denies-domestic-violence-allegations-as-new-crisis-heats-up?context=amp

What to Make of Peru’s Latest Crisis Under Castillo

Yesterday evening, Peruvian president Pedro Castillo swore in a new cabinet, his third in the space of just six months. Particularly concerning to many onlookers was the departure of finance minister Pedro Francke, who had been seen as a guarantee of stability and relative continuity in Peru’s economic policies both at home and abroad. Uncertainty was at an all-time high. What direction would Castillo take this time?
Americas Quarterly: https://americasquarterly.org/article/what-to-make-of-perus-latest-crisis-under-castillo/

UBS warns of governability risks with Castillo’s new cabinet

The departure of several center-left cabinet members may add to divisions within the rulling coalition and Castillo’s political allies, according to UBS Group AG. “The latest cabinet changes don’t mark a clear turn in any direction for the government’s political stance, but instead likely increase concerns regarding governability in the short term,” analysts including Andrea Casaverde and Roque Montero wrote in a research report.
Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-02-02/peru-president-names-ex-central-bank-economist-as-finance-chief

Ecuador

Ecuador hopes to finalize a commercial memorandum of understanding with China

The official visit of the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, to China aims to finalize a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for a free trade agreement with the Asian giant, Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Holguín assured on Thursday.
EFE, in Spanish: https://www.efe.com/efe/america/economia/ecuador-confia-concretar-un-memorando-de-entendimiento-comercial-con-china/20000011-4732362

Cracks in a Chinese dam caused a new environmental disaster in the Ecuadorian Amazon

The rupture of the Heavy Crude Oil Pipeline, which caused the oil spill, was caused by the regressive erosion of the Coca River, caused by the construction of a Chinese dam that has presented several fissures.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/medio-ambiente/2022/02/02/las-fisuras-en-una-represa-china-provocaron-un-nuevo-desastre-ambiental-en-la-amazonia-del-ecuador/?outputType=amp-type

The surprising Chinese school that works in a rural area of Los Ríos

Students from China and Ecuador study Spanish, Chinese-Mandarin, Tai Chi, massage and more from Asian culture, in addition to the local curriculum.
El Universo, in Spanish: https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/informes/el-sorprendente-colegio-chino-que-funciona-en-una-zona-rural-de-los-rios-nota/

Argentina

Alberto Fernández and Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow in the midst of two major crises

The two presidents in crisis are trying to relaunch a diplomatic relationship at a time when Russia is looking for more allies in Latin America to threaten the US.
Primer Informe, in Spanish: https://primerinforme.com/paises/alberto-fernandez-y-vladimir-putin-se-reunieron-en-moscu/

Adulterated cocaine kills 20 and exposes the magnitude of drug trafficking in Argentina

Drug trafficking and consumption in Argentina was crudely exposed by a massive intoxication with adulterated cocaine that caused at least 20 deaths in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.
Yahoo! News, in Spanish: https://es-us.noticias.yahoo.com/cocaína-adulterada-mata-20-expone-192926874.html

Bolivia

Ex-top drug cop in Bolivia charged in the U.S. with cocaine trafficking

A former Bolivian antinarcotics chief has been charged in the U.S. with conspiring to provide top-level protection for cocaine shipments to the United States
ABC News: https://abcnews.go.com/amp/International/wireStory/top-drug-cop-bolivia-charged-cocaine-trafficking-82635208

U.S. offers a $5 million reward for former Bolivian anti-drug chief

U.S announced a $5 million reward for information that could lead to the conviction of Maximilian Davila, former Bolivian anti-drug chief arrested at the end of January in Bolivia, and whom Washington considers involved in drug trafficking.
Then24.com: https://then24.com/2022/02/02/the-us-offers-a-reward-of-5-million-dollars-for-maximiliano-davila-former-bolivian-anti-drug-chief/amp/

REPORT: What is Maduro’s suspicious business with Bolivian urea about?

From Bolivia, the government of the socialist Luis Arce, pupil of Evo Morales, builds an international bridge to the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. In the middle there is a suspicious business with Bolivian urea that triggers international alerts.
Primer Informe, in Spanish: https://primerinforme.com/narcotrafico/el-sospechoso-negocio-de-maduro-con-la-urea-de-bolivia/

Analysis

José Azel: Preference falsification and Cuba’s future

As a Cuban-American, who hopes for a democratic future in my country of birth, I foresee the social and political consequences of decades of preference falsification as highly injurious to Cuba’s future.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/preference-falsification-and-cubas-future/

Ricardo Israel: What have we learned from the Holocaust?

What are some lessons? Was it a unique event or could it be repeated? We know that he bequeathed us the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as that Judeophobia and anti-Semitism remain in force. We would like to think that it will not happen again, but denialism makes us doubt.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/what-have-we-learned-from-the-holocaust/