Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 57

Boletín Interamerican Watch

Inter-American Watch

Monday, February 14th, 2022

The Americas

What are the most corrupt countries in Latin America

Of the 19 Latin American countries ranked in the lates Transparency International’s corruption index, three-quarters scored below 50 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2021. The worst was Venezuela, which scored below North Korea and Afghanistan.
Insight Crime: https://insightcrime.org/news/what-are-the-most-corrupt-countries-in-latin-america/

Chinese fishing fleet wreaks havoc in Latin American Oceans

This year will be no exception when it comes to the Chinese fishing fleet’s illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices in the territorial waters of Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador, the Argentine independent journalism site Urgente 24 said on January 3, 2022.
Dialogo Americas: https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/chinese-fishing-fleet-wreaks-havoc-in-latin-american-oceans/ – .YgmUavVOnFo

Mexico on track for one of deadliest years for media

Mexico is on course for one of its deadliest years yet for the press, with five journalists murdered already in 2022, prompting calls for authorities to end a culture of impunity.
France24.com: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220212-mexico-on-track-for-one-of-deadliest-years-for-media

Latin gangs’ bloody weekend raises alarm in Madrid

The Guardia Civil police on Thursday said they had arrested 11 people on suspicion of belonging to “Dominican Don’t Play” (DDP), a street gang which first appeared in New York in the 1980s with a similar version emerging on the streets of Madrid.
Eyewitness News: https://ewn.co.za/2022/02/12/latin-gangs-bloody-weekend-raises-alarm-in-madrid

Hugo Torres, Nicaragua ex rebel leader Ortega jailed, dies

A former Sandinista guerrilla leader who once led a raid that helped free then rebel and now President Daniel Ortega from prison has died, his family announced Saturday, eight months after Ortega’s government arrested him and dozens of other Nicaraguan opposition leaders.
Wtop.com: https://wtop.com/latin-america/2022/02/hugo-torres-nicaragua-ex-rebel-leader-ortega-jailed-dies/

Ecuador

Suspected Ecuadorian drug trafficker extradited to San Diego for conspiracy to distribute cocaine

Pedro Cornelio Pilligua Iduarte, the owner of multiple Ecuadorian flagged vessels which allegedly provided logistical support to drug laden vessels, was extradited to the United States from Spain yesterday.
Justice.gov: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/pr/suspected-ecuadorian-drug-trafficker-extradited-san-diego-conspiracy-distribute-cocaine

The first fake dollar factory in Ecuador dismantled

Counterfeiters printed 330,000 US currency bills that they wanted to exchange at the Ecuadorian border
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2022/02/11/descubrieron-la-primera-fabrica-de-dolares-falsos-de-ecuador/

Argentina

Argentina retrocede en el ranking mundial de transparencia debido a casos de corrupción

El ultimo informe del ranking mundial de transparencia, que evalúa el grado de corrupción y transparencia política de los países, bajó a la Argentina al puesto 38.
Canal C, in Spanish: https://canalc.com.ar/argentina-retrocede-en-el-ranking-mundial-de-transparencia-debido-a-casos-de-corrupcion/

For the first time a property is sold from the Kirchnerista corruption scandal

An apartment in Puerto Madero that was owned by Daniel Muñoz, former secretary and “testaferro’ of Cristina and Nestor Kirchner, was sold for more than $660,000 at auction.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/politica/2022/02/11/por-primera-vez-se-vendio-un-departamento-de-la-corrupcion-k-a-cuanto-pagaron-el-inmueble/

Drug Traffiking: why Argentina?

Today’s Argentina meets unbeatable conditions for the expansion of drug trafficking on an international scale. The deep causes refer to two converging processes: the decomposition of the State and social disintegration.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/opinion/2022/02/12/narcotrafico-por-que-la-argentina/

Risks in Argentina

La grave situación económica ha llevado al presidente Fernández a una maniobra inquietante de acercamiento a Putin
El Pais, in Spanish: https://elpais.com/opinion/2022-02-09/riesgos-en-argentina.html

Peru

Peru prosecutors search presidential compound in graft probe

Peru’s public ministry said on Friday it had raided the presidential compound and several private homes as part of a corruption investigation into state oil company Petroperu that implicates President Pedro Castillo.
Daily Times: https://dailytimes.com.pk/884555/peru-prosecutors-search-presidential-compound-in-graft-probe/

Peru’s president ditches iconic hat and seeks image rebrand

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo has adopted a unique measure in a bid to lift his falling popularity and resolve a series of political crises: he has ditched his iconic white cowboy hat. The hat has been an important feature of Castillo’s humble rural-school teacher image that helped propel him to the presidency. But for three days running this week, Castillo has appeared in public without his “sombrero.”
AFP/Yahoo! News: https://news.yahoo.com/perus-president-ditches-iconic-hat-011835599.html

Chile militarizes border with Peru due to migration crisis

The Government of Chile decreed this Saturday a “state of exception” and the military deployment in the border sectors of four provinces of the Antofagasta and Arica regions, in the north, after two days of roadblocks and truckers’ strikes against migration
La Republica, in Spanish: https://larepublica.pe/mundo/2022/02/13/chile-militariza-provincias-en-la-frontera-con-peru-y-bolivia-por-crisis-migratoria/

Bolivia

Venqis SA, the Panamanian company that complicates the President’s son

A commission of opposition deputies is investigating the Panamanian company Venqis SA, which seeks to be awarded the communication strategy for the YPFB Chaco project “Astillero X1”, a gas well in a protected area of Tarija. The director of the firm, the Brazilian Andre Golabek, who faced legal proceedings in his country and in Panama, supported the electoral campaign of Bolivian president Luis Arce. The investigation will extend to the President’s son, Marcelo Arce Mosqueira, current advisor to YPFB Chaco.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2022/2/13/venqis-sa-la-empresa-panamena-que-complica-al-hijo-del-presidente-323297.html

Prison mafia under investigation for corruption ring in Bolivia

After complaints about charges to prisoners and a “mafia” that operated in complicity with the governor of the San Pedro prison, in La Paz, the Minister of Government, Eduardo del Castillo, announced a thorough investigation of the alleged corruption.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/seguridad/2022/2/12/investigan-presuntos-hechos-de-corrupcion-en-regimen-penitenciario-323252.html

Bolivian judges are probed for favoring criminals with sentences

One of the judges, José Ayaviri Siles, granted house arrest to a woman who killed her two children, and to a drug trafficker. Both have already been recaptured by the Bolivian police.
La Razon, in Spanish: https://www.la-razon.com/ciudades/2022/02/12/investigan-a-un-segundo-juez-por-favorecer-a-dos-delincuentes-con-sentencia-ejecutoriada/

Analysis

Carlos Sánchez Berzain: In dictatorships and/or narco-states of 21st Century Socialism, crime supplants politics

The non-democratic regimes from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua -whose political self-imposed denomination is “21st Century Socialism”- hold power by wielding state-sponsored terrorism with political prisoners, persecuted and exiled and the peculiar characteristic of being narco-states. In order for them to have impunity for their crimes, they seek to indefinitely retain power, and to do that they commit all sorts of crime they pretend to disguise as political acts.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/in-dictatorships-and-or-narco-states-of-21st-century-socialism-crime-supplants-politics/

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Sanctions

Along the way, punitive systems are being developed so as not to have to resort to war. The great powers, logically, are terribly afraid of nuclear bombs. Hence the threats. The best known are the “sanctions.”
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/sanctions/

Peru, the country of perpetual crisis

The Andean nation has been mired in institutional instability for five years, aggravated by the arrival of Pedro Castillo and without having managed to stop the drift of a state that seems ungovernable
El Pais, in Spanish: https://elpais.com/internacional/2022-02-13/peru-la-crisis-perpetua.html

Expert opinions: The democratic crisis in Central America

Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are facing a serious crisis of democracy, human rights and public liberties, in which Nicaragua leads the way, assess journalists from the region at a forum on the subject, organized by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
Havana Times: https://havanatimes.org/features/the-democratic-crisis-in-central-america-expert-opinions/

How Costa Rica remains a beacon of stability in Latin America

There is a reason why the world media has not paid any attention to the Costa Rican elections held last Sunday for presidency and the Congress. There was no extreme rightist or radical leftist candidates like Trump or Ortega nor was there any serious polarisation, electoral fraud, outrageous fake news, controversial conspiracy claims or refusal of the verdict by the defeated.
The Week: https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2022/02/09/costa-rica-elections-go-unnoticed-world-media.html

Can a new Central American alliance nudge Ortega?

Costa Rica’s next president will guide a pro-democracy pact with Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Foreign Policy: https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/02/11/costa-rica-election-alliance-panama-dominican-republic-nicaragua-ortega/