Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 56

Interamerican Watch Newsletter

Inter-American Watch

Friday, February 11th, 2022

The Americas

The US cannot neglect its backyard – it is time for an Atlantic strategy

In order to ensure that the U.S. continues to enjoy a secure, stable and prosperous Atlantic, the U.S. must take a leadership role in the region, rally like-minded partners and allies around this cause, continue to raise awareness of China and Russia’s malign activities in the region, and break down the bureaucratic barriers inside the U.S. government
The Heritage Foundation: https://www.heritage.org/defense/report/the-us-cannot-neglect-its-backyard-it-time-atlantic-strategy

The United States is ignoring Latin America. China isn’t.

If the United States wants to get serious about competing with China and demonstrating itself as a global leader, it cannot continue to ignore its own backyard.
The National Interest: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/united-states-ignoring-latin-america-china-isn’t-200470

US Bill aims to arrest China, Russia influence in Latin America

Two leading voices in Congress on Latin America, senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez, have introduced bipartisan legislation to spur closer U.S. security cooperation in the region and turn back what they see as the growing, malign influence of China and Russia.
Wral.com/Associated Press: https://www.wral.com/bill-aims-to-arrest-china-russia-influence-in-latin-america/20122884/

US Government commission: Synthetic drug trafficking from China and Mexico a “national security’ emergency

The Commission’s report includes 76 recommendations that provide the Biden administration a blueprint to reduce the supply of illicit synthetic opioids produced and exported by Mexican drug cartels using Chinese-manufactured raw materials.
Politico: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/02/08/synthetic-drug-trafficking-opioids-00006517

Arrested development in northern Central America

Sustained by fear and fostered by distrust in often corrupt institutions, extortion hinders economic growth in northern Central America. Rebuilding trust between governments and the community, and strengthening security and justice institutions are crucial to counter this crime and nurturing economic development.
Global Initiative against transnational organized crime: https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/development-extortion-central-america/

Ecuador

“Petrochina”: Ecuador’s Congress to investigate huge corruption plot with China during Correa’s administration

The debt Ecuador acquired with China during the government of Rafael Correa and for which Ecuador must pay the Asian giant with barrels of oil would be an international corrupt plot of commercial and financial intermediation with Ecuadorian oil, as reported by the Ecuadorian legislator Fernando Villavicencio, who also is investigating Nicolás Maduro’s front man Alex Saab.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2022/02/10/petrochina-investigan-una-enorme-trama-de-corrupcion-entre-ecuador-y-china-durante-el-gobierno-de-rafael-correa/

US sanctions alleged drug traffickers from Ecuador, Mexico

The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it has sanctioned men from Mexico and Ecuador accused of shipping tons of cocaine from South America to the United States. Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Miguel Angel Valdez Ruiz of Culiacan, Mexico, work together to supply Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel with cocaine, the Treasury said in a statement.
Associated Press: https://apnews.com/article/united-states-guayaquil-ecuador-south-america-mexico-39f7bd10a9e5c7d7a532788274fddccf

Ecuadorian narco wanted by the US arrested inside submarine loaded with 4 tons of cocaine headed to Central America

The Colombian military made its biggest cocaine bust in two years when it seized four tons of cocaine from a million-dollar submarine cruising through the Pacific Ocean off its coast – and carrying an Ecuadorian drug trafficker hunted by the United States for nearly three years.
Dailymail.com: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10495351/Colombian-military-intercepts-Central-America-bound-submarine-four-tons-cocaine.html

Argentina

China’s UK embassy stokes Argentina claim over Falkland Islands

Beijing’s view on sovereignty of the islands has “been consistent’ says mission, reiterating Xi Jinping’s support for Buenos Aires’ claims
South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3166195/chinas-uk-embassy-stokes-argentina-claim-over-falkland-islands

Analysis

Can corruption be measured?

Measuring corruption is one of the main concerns of all of us who work on this issue. The problem is that corruption crimes are committed behind the scenes and that hinders their measurement.
Clarin, in Spanish: https://www.clarin.com/opinion/-puede-medir-corrupcion-_0_8bJBPKn4xx.html