US requests possession of controversial Venezuelan plane from Argentina
August 3, 2022
12 of the 19 crew members on the controversial Boeing 747 flight that landed in Argentina earlier this month were authorized to leave the country, ruled an Argentine judge. The remaining seven Venezuelans and Iranians are still detained, including Gholamrez Ghasemi, a former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, reports Times of Israel. Ghasemi is also a member of a company that, according to the US Department of Treasury, provides support to the Quds Force, a US-designated terrorist organization. On his decision to continue detaining the 7 additional crew members, the judge wrote, “‘What is being investigated is whether, under the appearance of legal activity, they are financing terrorism operations (specifically with Hezbollah) or whether they are part of a plan that has ties with’ Hezbollah.”
Immediately following the Argentine judge’s decision, the US Department of Justice requested possession of the plane itself, according to AP News. The aircraft was formerly owned by an Iranian airline and has alleged previous ties to terror groups. Furthermore, it is in violation of US export control laws given that it was sold from Iran's Mahan Air to Emtrasur, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautical Industries and Air Services (Conviasa), says Reuters. Both of those companies are sanctioned by the US—the former for its ties to a US-designated terrorist organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, and the latter for its ties to Nicolás Maduro and his government.
In a change of heart, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved an $800 million credit line to Argentina to help the country replenish its reserves, reports Perfíl.
Hundreds of illegal or unregistered airstrips have been built in Brazil’s Amazon region to fuel the illegal mining industry, found the New York Times. Many of these airstrips are located on indigenous territories.
According to Insight Crime, international organizations such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are training indigenous communities to use drones to better monitor deforestation in the Amazon.
The Supreme Electoral Court is restricting the public dissemination of information about candidate’s assets, a step backwards in transparency that limits the public’s ability to trace politicians' assets' values and potential corruption, according to Folha.
Although the Biden administration has made a dedicated effort to preserve close ties with Colombia as president-elect Gustavo Petro takes office, counternarcotics policy may prove a dividing wedge, writes Cynthia Arnson at Americas Quarterly.
José Antonio Ocampo, Colombia’s next Finance Minister, originally campaigned for one of President-elect Petro’s opponents, Sergio Fajardo. His nomination will seek to bridge “diverging economic views,” writes Luiza Franco at America’s Quarterly.
More than 1.6 million coca leaf bushes were seized by Honduran authorities, the country’s largest drug bust to date. (WKZO)
Mexico’s Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination in Mexico City (Copred) announced yesterday that they would be investigating potential racist and discriminatory acts by expensive chain restaurant Sonora Grill, reports Animal Político.
The Trump administration offered a deal to AMLO to help the Mexican president with his political agenda if he helped obstruct migration from reaching the US border, notes Reforma, citing Jared Kushner’s new book.
Rafael Caro Quintero, former founder and head of the Guadalajara drug cartel, will not be immediately extradited to the US following a Mexican judge’s ruling that the extradition be suspended indefinitely, according to Milenio.
Castillo’s government is promoting a law in Peruvian Congress that would penalize the media if they publish statements by collaborators, essentially instating a “gag rule,” reports La República.
Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Paraguay formally launch their bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, in honor of the tournament’s centennial anniversary. Uruguay hosted the first-ever World Cup in 1930. (Diario Olé)
Power outages contributed to a 27% decline in state-run PDVSA’s oil exports in July, reports Reuters.