OAS to send mission to Peru
Oct. 21, 2022
The Organization of American States adopted a resolution to send a mission to Peru to “analyze the situation” in the country, in response to President Pedro Castillo’s allegations that the attorney general’s filing a constitutional complaint against the President amounts to a “coup d’etat.” (Al Jazeera)
Castillo faces six investigations, including for influence peddling, obstruction of justice, and directing a criminal organization. Peru’s attorney general has said that investigators had found “very serious indications of a criminal organization that has taken root in the government”.
The Peruvian president denies any wrongdoing.
Castillo's government wrote in a letter last week to the OAS that it wanted to "preserve democratic institutionality and the legitimate exercise of power." He couched the request in the organization’s “Democratic Charter,” which permits member countries to "request assistance for the strengthening and preservation of its democratic institutions." (AFP)
At yesterday’s meeting, a representative of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said Peru is undergoing a “constitutional crisis” scenario. A year into his mandate, Castillo has survived two ouster attempts by Congressional opponents. (Associated Press)
The constitutional complaint could lead to Castillo’s suspension, with fewer votes than needed for a formal impeachment, reports Reuters.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution establishing a ‘sanctions regime’ targeting gang leaders and anyone engaging in actions that threaten Haiti’s peace, security or stability. The resolution specifically refers to gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, also known as “Barbecue.” (Miami Herald, Al Jazeera)
The Miami Herald reports that the resolution’s final text “dropped language on the deployment of a multinational force to help the Haiti National Police take back key infrastructure, as well as a reference to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Oct. 8 letter supporting the deployment and security options after the departure of such a force.”
The United States and Mexico, which drafted the 10-page resolution, had delayed the vote from Wednesday and made several revisions in hopes of gaining more support from the 15 council members, reports the Associated Press.
Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced aggressive fines for online platforms that fail to take down fraudulent content after two hours, part of efforts to crackdown on rampant disinformation ahead of the Oct. 30 runoff election. (Reuters)
Conservative candidates performed surprisingly well in Brazil’s elections earlier this month, which “suggests that (President Jair) Bolsonaro and his culturally conservative, antiglobalist allies will be a force in Brazil for many years to come—standing alongside broadly similar movements in Hungary, Italy, Sweden, and the United States, as well as elsewhere in Latin America,” writes Brian Winter in Foreign Affairs. (See yesterday’s post.)
Bolsonaro strategically boosted welfare payments this year, the cash payments might not be enough to sway poor voters to vote for him, but could push up abstention rates which favor the incumbent, reports the Associated Press.
Brazil’s Congress has dramatically increased its power over the past decade, a move that has reduced “the scope of the “hyper-presidentialism” to which Brazil has long been accustomed” and will present a new check on the power of the country’s next president, writes Lucas de Aragão in Americas Quarterly.
El Salvador’s national assembly passed a new law that puts all overseas voters in the San Salvador legislative district. Experts say the move will further tilt the legislative balance in favor of President Nayib Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas party, reports El Diario de Hoy.
The new law also eliminates the need for overseas voters to register — they will be able to vote, in-person electronically or by internet, with just a national identity number and a Salvadoran passport. This undermines the electoral tribunal’s work, and undermines electoral legitimacy, reports El Diario de Hoy.
The U.S. Biden administration’s use of a contentious health law, Title 42, to summarily expel asylum seeking Venezuelans is “baffling,” WOLA’s Adam Isacson told the Guardian. “We’ve lost just about any pretense that this is a health measure. They are using a backdoor way to end the right to asylum.”
Some 130 U.S. and Latin American human rights groups denounced the new policies in a joint letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, writing that they caused “disappointment and shock.” They said the continued use of Title 42 for migrants of other nationalities clashes with the principles of the regionwide declaration on migration that Washington helped craft at the U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas in June, reports the Latin America Brief.
Venezuela’s opposition parties are preparing to end their “interim government,” after four years of maintaining that former National Assembly president Juan Guaidó is the country’s legitimate leader. The move could pave the way for the U.S. to ease oil sanctions on the Maduro government, reports the Financial Times.
Venezuela has the fastest deforestation rate in the Western Hemisphere’s tropical regions, and the fifth-fastest rate in the world. But the international community has paid little attention to the Venezuelan Amazon’s devastation, writes Cristina Vollmer Burelli in Americas Quarterly.
The United States and Venezuela are working towards restoring relations, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in his morning press conference. (Reuters)
Cuba’s designation as a “state sponsor of terrorism” by the U.S. flies against the consensus position in the U.S. intelligence community. Fulton Armstrong, a former national intelligence officer for Latin America, described the designation as “bogus,” in conversation with NBC.
Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's top foreign policy adviser, Celso Amorim, told Reuters that he supports the inclusion of Argentina in the BRICS group of developing nations.
Honduran transgender activist Melissa Núñez was killed this week, another sign of how dangerous life is in Honduras for members of the LGBTQ community, said rights groups. (Associated Press)
Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s approval rating dropped to 46% in October from 56% in August. (Bloomberg)
A growing Mexican social movement is challenging a long-standing narrative that the country’s society isn’t racist, “thrusting discussions of discrimination based on skin color to the fore,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean will reach a higher-than-expected 3.2 percent this year, before halving in 2023, according to a new ECLAC forecast. (AFP)
A smart buoy, which monitors sounds and uses artificial intelligence to identify sea mammals, is part of a new effort to help endangered whales avoid ship collisions off the Chilean coast, reports Reuters.