Interamerican Watch Newsletter – Issue 73

Boletim Informativo Interamerican Watch

Inter-American Watch

Thursday March 31st, 2022

The Americas

The Puebla Group encourages the return to Brazil of Lula’s model of corruption

This Tuesday a meeting of the Puebla Group began in Rio de Janeiro in which, among many others, the former presidents José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Ernesto Samper Pizano, the former chief of staff of Pablo Iglesias, Pablo Gentili, and the Labor Minister of Spain, Yolanda Diaz.
La Gaceta de la Iberoesfera, in Spanish: https://gaceta.es/actualidad/el-grupo-de-puebla-alienta-el-regreso-a-brasil-del-modelo-de-corrupcion-de-lula-20220330-2057/

Poll: In just two weeks of government, Chile’s Boric surpasses Piñera and Bachelet in disapproval

With only two weeks in power, Gabriel Boric’s disapproval increased ten points and stands at 30%. Disapproval increases among those between 35 and 54 years old (35%), from the low socioeconomic sector (31%), from regions (32%), and among conservatives (51%), according to the latest survey by the Market Research Analysis Center (Cadem)
Panampost, in Spanish: https://panampost.com/panam-staff/2022/03/29/en-solo-dos-semanas-boric-supera-en-desaprobacion-a-pinera-y-bachelet/

The transitional world order: implications for Latin America and the Caribbean

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—indirectly underwritten by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and with the Western response hampered by the threat of nuclear war—highlights a world transitioning away from the institutional, economic, and ideological order that has prevailed since the end of World War II. The transition will have significant and grave implications, and its dynamics are likely to be uneven, with the U.S. and democratic, market-oriented states likely to be some of the most adversely affected.
Dialogo Americas: https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/the-transitional-world-order-implications-for-latin-america-and-the-caribbean/ – .YkUTvRApAq0

U.S. Southern Command concerned for “aggressive” influence of China and Russia in Latin America

“I’ve been in command for almost five months and the biggest eye-opener for me was the extent to which China and Russia are aggressively expanding their influence in our neighborhood, in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Gen. Laura Richardson, emphasizing that this area “is experiencing insecurity and instability.”
Dialogo Americas: https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/us-warns-of-growing-influence-of-russia-and-china-in-latin-america/ – .YkUWIxApAq0

Report: Venezuelan Army collaborated with Colombian rebels

Venezuelan soldiers conducted joint operations with Colombian rebels in the state of Apure earlier this year, Human Rights Watch said as violence increased along a remote and often lawless stretch of the Colombia-Venezuela border. Several armed groups are fighting for control of drug trafficking routes in the area.
Associated Press: https://wtop.com/latin-america/2022/03/report-venezuelan-army-collaborated-with-colombian-rebels/

Ecuador

Ecuador’s former Comptroller General indicted in case tied to Odebrecht

Carlos Ramon Polit Faggioni is accused of accepting more than $10 million in bribes from Brazil’s Odebrecht.
Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ecuadors-former-comptroller-general-indicted-in-case-tied-to-odebrecht-11648599067?mod=hp_minor_pos12

London insurance firms probed by U.K. for bribery and corruption in Ecuador

The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office is examining the way London firms, including Marsh & McLennan Cos.’s Jardine Lloyd Thompson and Tysers Insurance Brokers Ltd. secured business in South America, including insurance firms in Ecuador during former president Rafael Correa’s administration.
Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-25/london-insurance-firms-probed-for-bribery-and-corruption-by-u-k

Chinese construction company sues Ecuador for USD 100 million

The Electricity Corporation of Ecuador (Celec) has been sued by the Chinese company China Water & Electric Corporation, as part of the controversies that both companies hold for the construction of the Toachi-Pilatón hydroelectric plant, which is seven years late.
Primicias, in Spanish: https://www.primicias.ec/noticias/economia/toachi-pilaton-empresa-china-demanda-ecuador/

Peru

Peru’s Castillo survives impeachment vote just eight months into his term

Peru lawmakers who sought to remove President Pedro Castillo had noted that he is the subject of three preliminary investigations into possible corruption, which under Peruvian law cannot proceed until he is out of office.
TRT World: https://www.trtworld.com/americas/peru-s-castillo-survives-impeachment-vote-just-eight-months-into-his-term-55887

Pedro Castillo and the vacancy: is Peru heading towards “Venezuelanization”?

According to experts, since there is no political solution to the battle between the Executive and the Legislative, all the possibilities arise, including a military coup to try to generate governability, or that the president, using the discredit of Congress, decides to close it. This would lead to the “Venezuelanization” of Peruvian politics.
Semana, in Spanish: https://www.semana.com/mundo/articulo/pedro-castillo-y-la-vacancia-va-peru-hacia-la-venezolanizacion/202239/

Peru’s new Minister of Agriculture has been accused twice of homicide

During the eight months of Castillo’s tenure there have been various complaints against the officials chosen by the president, such as a former prime minister accused of domestic violence; a former Secretary General accused of alleged corruption; a former minister considered a suspect of alleged terrorism; and most recently, the current Minister of Agriculture, Óscar Zea, who has two complaints for homicide against him.
ABC, in Spanish: https://bit.ly/3wQPemI

Judge order prevent nephews of president Castillo from leaving the country

Fray Vásquez and Gian Marco Castillo, both under investigation for alleged corruption, disappeared since last Sunday and are considered fugitives.
Peru21, in Spanish: https://peru21.pe/politica/caso-puente-tarata-juez-decide-hoy-impedimento-de-salida-para-sobrinos-de-pedro-castillo-y-bruno-pacheco-noticia/

Bolivia

Evo Morales attacks U.S., says he plans to stay in power “for life”

In a commemorative act of the socialist party MAS, with which Morales governed the country for the last 16 years, except in 2019-2020, the former president said that they will remain in the power “for life”. At the same time he praised the return of “chavismo” in Latin America and said the U.S. “continues to lose”.
Correo del Sur, in Spanish: https://correodelsur.com/politica/20220330_evo-ve-proximo-el-retorno-de-los-tiempos-del-chavismo-y-el-kirchnerismo-con-castillo-boric-petro-y-lula.html

Evo Morales: “The best allies of our revolution are Venezuela, Cuba and Russia”

The socialist leader attacked the U.S. as well as organizations such as the Pacific Alliance and the Lima Group, saying they were created to attack his allies, including the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Cuba dictatorship and Putin’s Russia.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/nacional/2022/3/29/evo-en-el-festejo-del-mas-los-mejores-aliados-de-nuestra-revolucion-son-venezuela-cuba-rusia-327174.html

Factions of socialist MAS party fight hard to control gold exploitation with the help of criminal and foreigners

The “intercultural” and “peasant” workers, both related to the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, clashed for control of the Chushuara community, in the Franz Tamayo province, La Paz. Both groups accused each other of hiring foreigners and criminals to control community lands and give way to gold mining, which would end the plantations and fishing in the area.
Pagina Siete, in Spanish: https://www.paginasiete.bo/seguridad/2022/3/31/bandos-afines-al-mas-se-enfrentan-por-el-oro-hay-heridos-retenidos-327326.html

Argentina

Argentina’s Justice identified $150 million of “Kirchnerista’ corruption hidden in bank accounts and properties

The millions from corruption detected involve former officials and union leaders linked to Kirchnerismo. Part of these funds were immobilized or are invested in properties worldwide and another part returned to the country and was reinvested in farms, land, buildings, apartments and private houses.
La Nacion, in Spanish: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/la-justicia-detecto-unos-150-millones-de-dolares-de-la-corrupcion-kirchnerista-fugados-al-exterior-nid30032022/

Expert: “Peronismo’ is the main responsible for the economic ruin of Argentina

Economist Miguel Angel Boggiano made a crude diagnosis of the economic reality of the country in recent decades and ruled that the Peronist governments in the last 8 decades have led the country to ruin.
Infobae, in Spanish: https://www.infobae.com/economia/2022/03/30/miguel-boggiano-el-peronismo-es-el-principal-responsable-del-retroceso-historico-de-la-argentina/

Argentina’s Fernandez admits drug trafficking is strongly impacting on much of the country

President Alberto Fernández assured “drug trafficking” is one of the types of organized crime that most worries his government and asked that Justice be “reviewed” and realize that “it is not working as it should” to give responses to this scourge that has a strong impact on much of the country.
Rio Negro, in Spanish: https://www.rionegro.com.ar/politica/fernandez-dijo-que-le-preocupa-el-narcotrafico-y-pidio-ayuda-a-la-justicia-para-combatirlo-2224029/

Analysis

How violence separates or displaces Venezuelan families

Dictatorship’s security forces, gangs and guerrillas were forcing people out of cities, villages and Indigenous communities even before the massive migration waves.
Caracas Chronicle: https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2022/03/29/how-violence-separates-or-displaces-venezuelan-families/

“Peronismo’ wants to censor social media in the name of the “common good”

According to a high official of the Argentine government, it is necessary to regulate the contents of social networks to stop “intoxicating the spirit of our democracy.” Experts fear the advance of official censorship under the guise of the common good.
Panampost, in Spanish: https://panampost.com/marcelo-duclos/2022/03/29/dictadura-peronismo-censurar-leyes/

Russia-Ukraine war may benefit Latin America crude producers in short term: panel

The shortfall of Russian crude will require more production elsewhere in the near term and Latin America could be among the biggest beneficiaries, the panelists said during a webinar organized by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.
S&P Global: https://www.spglobal.com/commodity-insights/en/market-insights/latest-news/energy-transition/033122-russia-ukraine-war-may-benefit-latin-america-crude-producers-in-short-term-panel

Argentina and the Chilean Constitution

Usually, constitutions are the national issue of each country, and only exceptionally other countries should worry. However, it is this second scenario that must summon the Argentine Republic, since what is emerging from the Chilean Constitutional Convention will have an internal impact.
Interamerican Institute for Democracy: https://intdemocratic.org/argentina-and-the-chilean-constitution/

Analysis: Colombia presidential candidate Petro’s oil, pension proposal give investors pause

Leftist Colombia presidential candidate Gustavo Petro’s promises to halt new oil projects and redistribute pension funds could put the country’s economic stability at risk, investors say
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/colombia-presidential-candidate-petros-oil-pension-proposals-give-investors-2022-03-29/