Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 54

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Monday, February 7th, 2022

The Americas

Iran’s influence in Latin America is a dangerous reminder for regional leaders

Latin Americans across the continent should be alarmed by the growing presence and engagement of Iran in the region, and enforce Interpol Red Alerts against suspected terrorists. Those reckless governments collaborating with the Iranian regime and looking the other way as Hezbollah operates freely are playing a dangerous game
Times of Israel: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/irans-influence-in-latin-america-a-dangerous-reminder-for-regional-leaders/

Cocaine trafficking from Latin America believed to be behind Guinea-Bissau “coup attempt’

Guinea-Bissau became a transit point for Latin American cocaine bound for Europe in the early 2000s. For a time the state was completely captured by Latin American, mainly Colombian, drug lords who paid off government officials – all the way up to the president
Daily Maverick: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-02-06-cocaine-trafficking-believed-to-be-behind-guinea-bissau-coup-attempt/

Honduras’ Castillo signs a law that exonerates officials of the government of her husband Manuel Zelaya from crimes

The law was passed by Congress in the midst of the dispute with Castillo’s government. Anti-corruption activists consider that the rule could favor other people involved in illegal acts.
https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2022/02/06/xiomara-castro-promulgo-una-ley-que-exonero-de-delitos-a-funcionarios-del-gobierno-de-su-esposo-manuel-zelaya/

Peru

Peru PM confirms departure after four days in job after allegations of domestic violence; Castillo faces Cabinet reshuffle

Peruvian Prime Minister Hector Valer confirmed on Saturday that he is departing just four days after being named to the post, following allegations that he beat his daughter and late wife, creating a new leadership vacuum in the Andean nation.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/peru-pm-confirms-departure-after-four-days-job-castillo-faces-cabinet-reshuffle-2022-02-05/

Congresswoman Patricia Chirinos in Miami: “President Castillo must be removed from power”

“Castillo creates a climate of total instability, because in addition to everything he does, he does not know how to choose ministers, in whom there are serious signs of corruption, with people in the government, chosen by him, linked to terrorism, with [the guerrilla] Sendero Bright. All this is creating a climate of instability that we Peruvians have to be experiencing”.
Diario de las Americas, in Spanish: https://www.diariolasamericas.com/america-latina/peru-al-presidente-castillo-hay-que-sacarlo-del-poder-n4242359

El Comercio newspaper calls for the resignation of president Pedro Castillo

The newspaper El Comercio, one of the most important in Peru, called for the resignation of President Pedro Castillo in a harsh editorial with a full-page headline in its print edition this Sunday.
CNN Español, in Spanish: https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2022/02/06/el-periodico-el-comercio-pide-la-renuncia-del-presidente-pedro-castillo-en-peru/

Bolivia

Maximiliano Dávila case: US investigation points out to Evo Morales’ government

Experts agree that the investigation of the US about the indictment of the former director of the Special Force to Fight Drug Trafficking (Felcn) Maximiliano Dávila, point to the government of Evo Morales.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2022/2/6/caso-davila-ven-que-investigacion-de-eeuu-apunta-al-gobierno-de-evo-322686.html

Bolivia re-enters list of countries that send drugs to the United States

The DEA maintained its vigilance over drug trafficking operations, despite its expulsion from Bolivia in 2008. According to experts, Bolivia used to be the origin of only 2% of the cocaine sent to the US. Now, the trend has changed.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/edicion-impresa/bolivia-reingresa-a-la-lista-de-paises-que-envian-droga-a-estados-unidos_266374

Argentina

Argentina joins China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative

China and Argentina have inked an agreement on “jointly promoting the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, marking Argentina’s entry into the initiative, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Sunday.
TRT World: https://www.trtworld.com/business/argentina-joins-china-s-trillion-dollar-belt-and-road-initiative-54466

China and Argentina: a relationship marked by disproportions and the interests of Beijing

The Chinese government conditions investments in the world to its development strategy and the commercial arm wrestling with the United States
La Nacion, in Spanish: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/china-y-argentina-una-relacion-marcada-por-las-desproporciones-y-los-intereses-de-pekin-nid06022022/

A report from the OAS and two from the DEA warned about increase in consumption of fentanyl in Argentina

The importation of fentanyl went from an amount equivalent to 218 thousand dollars to another, to 1,300,000 dollars, that is, an increase of 695 percent.
Clarin, in Spanish: https://www.clarin.com/politica/informe-oea-dea-alertaron-aumento-consumo-fentanilo-argentina_0_ikhFg7dtv6.html

Ecuador

Ecuador sees trade deal with China at end of year, debt talks to begin

Ecuador expects to pull together a trade deal with China at the end of this year and will begin formal debt re-negotiations with the Asian country, Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso said on Saturday, after a Beijing visit with his counterpart Xi Jinping.
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/ecuador-sees-trade-deal-with-china-end-year-debt-talks-begin-2022-02-05/

European mafias operate from Ecuador; even from prison they arrange the shipments of drugs

At least 8 members of the so-called Balcanic mafia has been identified by the Ecuadorian authorities as operating drug trafficking routes from Ecuador.
El Universo, in Spanish: https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/seguridad/mafias-europeas-operan-desde-ecuador-incluso-desde-prision-coordinan-la-salida-de-la-droga-nota/?modulo=destacadas-uno&plantilla=home

Why Ecuador has become a key territory for the Albanian Mafia?

A relationship has been detected between the Colombian irregular groups and the Albanian mafia, that use Ecuador to send drugs to Europe, according to experts.
Ecuavisa, in Spanish: https://www.ecuavisa.com/lo-nuevo-ecuavisa/mafia-albanesa-como-opera-y-por-que-ecuador-se-convirtio-en-un-territorio-clave-BL1278065

Analysis

Editorial from El Comercio newspaper: “resignation (of president Castillo) is the best way out”

The very brief appointment of Congressman Héctor Valer as head of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) can be read as just one more example of presidential blunders, but the truth is that it illustrates –perhaps more clearly than any other previous outburst– the level of disconnection, impudence and incompetence of the head of state.
El Comercio, in Spanish: https://elcomercio.pe/opinion/editorial/editorial-la-renuncia-es-la-mejor-salida-noticia/

Justice in Bolivia: from crisis to catastrophe

Definitely: what justice is facing today in Bolivia has ceased to be just a crisis (as if it were not enough that it is in a “serious and decisive situation” that “endangers” the very survival of the country), to transform into a true and frightening catastrophe.
El Deber, in Spanish: https://eldeber.com.bo/opinion/justicia-en-bolivia-de-crisis-a-catastrofe_266430

Gustavo Petro: “Colombia doesn’t need socialism, it needs democracy and peace’

The frontrunner in the polls for the 2022 presidential elections talks to EL PAÍS about how he plans to help the Colombian people, and why he will leave politics if he loses the vote
El País: https://english.elpais.com/usa/2021-09-22/gustavo-petro-colombia-doesnt-need-socialism-it-needs-democracy-and-peace.html

If killings of Mexico’s journalists continue, democracy will die with them

Mexico is now the world’s deadliest country for journalists. Despite its constitution guaranteeing a free press, and a special prosecutor’s office focusing on crimes against the press, about 150 journalists have been killed there since 2000
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/latino-life/story/2022-02-04/mexico-journalists-killed-democracy-free-press