Guatemalans protest authorities corruption on September 20, 2017. Photo: Keneth Cruz.
August 2, 2021
THIS WEEK IN LATIN AMERICA
GUATEMALA: The firing of an anti-corruption prosecutor has sparked an indignant response from civil society and calls for for the resignations of President Alejandro Giammattei and Attorney General María Consuelo Porras.
Porras got here beneath hearth final month when she removed Juan Francisco Sandoval, a particular prosecutor appointed to help the CICIG, a world physique set as much as examine corruption in Guatemala. After the CICIG was disbanded in 2019 by President Jimmy Morales, Sandoval’s workplace took over lots of the worldwide physique’s investigations.
Porras’ rationale for firing Sandoval was that the latter had refused to comply with directions and had interfered with the functioning of her workplace. In a press convention after his dismissal, Sandoval known as the firing “illegal” and pledged to contest it.
On Friday, Sandoval met with representatives from the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. The U.S. State Department additionally introduced final week that it was quickly suspending anti-corruption cooperation with Guatemala due to Sandoval’s firing.
BRAZIL: Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro took to the streets across the country on Sunday to demand modifications to voting legal guidelines to be able to forestall fraud in subsequent 12 months’s presidential elections. The protesters have been demanding that voting machines print paper receipts, making a bodily recount potential. President Bolsonaro spoke to the demonstrators over videoconference, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election’s consequence over a 12 months earlier than the primary votes are forged, and suggesting that he wouldn’t settle for an electoral defeat.
CHILE: Workers on the Escondida copper mine in northern Chile voted overwhelmingly final week to reject a contract supply from BHP, the corporate that owns the mine. The firm has requested authorities mediation, throughout which employees will likely be required to proceed working for a interval of as much as 10 days. If an settlement shouldn’t be reached by the tip of that interval, the union will begin a work stoppage. Escondida is the biggest copper mine in the world, accounting for about 5% of world annual manufacturing. In 2017, a 44-day strike by employees on the mine contributed to a decline of 1.3% of the nation’s GDP.
PERU: Leftist elementary faculty instructor Pedro Castillo was inaugurated as president of Peru final week, inheriting a sharply divided congress wherein his Perú Libre celebration holds solely 37 of 130 seats and the world’s worst COVID-19 dying charge. Castillo, who has not beforehand held public workplace, is the fifth particular person in 5 years to carry the workplace of president of Peru. In his inauguration speech, he promised to create a national health system and write a brand new structure, whereas reassuring his opponents that he’ll respect private property. On Friday, Castillo appointed former World Bank economist Pedro Francke as finance minister in a transfer that was seen as an extra reassurance to moderates.
COLOMBIA: Prosecutors have brought charges in opposition to former Colombian Army General Mario Montoya for his involvement in 104 extrajudicial executions between 2007 and 2008. The killings have been a part of the “false positives” scandal, wherein over 6,400 civilians have been murdered by the Army earlier than being registered as guerrilla fighters killed in fight. Montoya, who was Colombia’s high basic from 2006 to 2008, is being charged with a number of counts of aggravated murder. He is accused of incentivizing combat deaths, a coverage which prosecutors say led to the murders of non-combatants.
HAITI: Police are looking for a former Supreme Court justice and longtime political rival of deceased former President Jovenel Moïse for alleged involvement within the president’s July 7 killing. Police say that Judge Wendelle Coq-Thelot met with the mercenaries who killed President Moïse at her house twice earlier than the assault. Moïse removed Coq-Thelot from the Supreme Court in February of this 12 months together with two different justices, accusing her of getting been concerned in a coup plot. Coq-Thelot’s location is unknown, and her legal professionals say the arrest warrant is unlawful and are asking a judge to dismiss it.
CUBA/UNITED STATES: The United States Treasury Department introduced additional sanctions in opposition to the federal government of Cuba on Friday, in response to the repression of anti-government protests over the previous month. The sanctions prolong present bans on worldwide journey for officers in Cuba’s nationwide police drive.
Thousands of Cubans in cities throughout the island took to the streets early last month to protest meals and drugs shortages. The protests have been met with repression by police, and as many as 700 individuals have been arrested, in response to the NGO Cubalex. Meanwhile, the governments of Mexico and Bolivia started sending thousands of tonnes of medical supplies and meals to the Caribbean nation final week.
EL SALVADOR/NICARAGUA: Nicaragua has granted nationality to former Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, after prosecutors in his house nation issued an arrest warrant in opposition to him for corruption crimes. Sánchez Cerén, who served as president from 2014 to 2019, has lived in Nicaragua since 2020, and is a rival of present president Nayib Bukele. Both politicians have been members of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) celebration till Bukele was expelled in 2017.
Sánchez Cerén is accused of illicit enrichment throughout his time period as vice chairman from 2009 to 2014. His naturalization by Nicaragua will protect him from extradition, as Nicaragua’s structure prohibits the extradition of its residents.
MEXICO: Mexicans voted in a referendum Sunday to resolve whether or not or to not examine residing former presidents for corruption and different crimes. According to preliminary counts launched Sunday evening, between 89 and 96% of those that participated want to see former presidents investigated. However, turnout was solely round 7% of eligible voters, removed from the 40% needed for the referendum to be legally binding. Leaders of the ruling Morena celebration mentioned that they want to see some kind of truth commission whatever the consequence of the vote. The opposition PAN celebration criticized the federal government’s determination to carry the referendum, calling it “a presidential spectacle.”
MEXICO: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued an government order to release over 12,000 people being held in federal prisons. The prisoners to be launched embrace some older adults, victims of torture and people who find themselves ready to be sentenced. López Obrador additionally inspired state governments to launch individuals from state prisons in the event that they fulfill the identical traits. On Friday, the federal government of Mexico City introduced that it’s going to start investigating who should be released from its prisons.