British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie. Photo: Government of the British Virgin Islands
This Week in Latin America
May 2, 2022
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Thursday arrested the British Virgin Islands’ head of presidency, Premier Andrew Fahie, in South Florida on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. DEA brokers additionally detained the director of the territory’s port authority and her son on comparable prices.
After a months-long undercover sting operation, the DEA gathered proof that the premier, the port authority director, and her son provided the island of Tortola as a storage and transit level for shipments of cocaine from Latin America to the U.S. in change for cash from drug cartels. The three additionally allegedly arrange shell corporations to facilitate funds.
The territory had additionally been topic to an unrelated probe by the U.Okay. authorities into suspected widespread corruption throughout the native administration. In a report released on Friday, the fee of inquiry accountable for these investigations really helpful that the U.Okay. authorities re-impose direct rule over the territory. The British Virgin Islands are a British Overseas Territory however keep self-governance of inside affairs.
BRAZIL: A federal court docket on Monday upheld a 2017 ruling which suspended permissions for the event of doubtless the most important open-pit gold mine within the Brazilian Amazon. The court docket decided that the Canada-based mining firm behind the venture had not appropriately consulted indigenous communities who can be affected. However, it stopped in need of granting regional authorities’ request to cancel the company’s contract.
The Belo Sun Mining Corporation deliberate to develop a gold mine alongside the Xingu River within the northern state of Pará. The Belo Monte hydroelectric dam about 12.5 miles upstream – one of many world’s largest – has already caused problems with Amazonian indigenous communities resulting from its restriction of the river’s water circulate and adversarial impact on fish populations.
URUGUAY: Montevideo police on Thursday arrested a man suspected of murdering and dismembering 44-year-old automobile salesman Martín Migal Sobrales earlier in April. A day later, the suspect was charged with obstruction of justice.
Security digicam footage exhibiting two males pushing a buying cart with what gave the impression to be a physique inside led investigators to a home in southeast Montevideo. Police imagine that the boys then threw the physique into the Rio de la Plata. Various body parts have been discovered floating within the river and washed up on shores throughout the capital.
Law enforcement suspect that the homicide is linked to cash owed to drug sellers in western Montevideo.
COLOMBIA: Large drifts of poisonous, foul-smelling foam have blown from a contaminated river into the Colombian metropolis of Mosquera, protecting houses and companies and disturbing native residents. Authorities attribute the froth to a close-by industrial zone and chemical substances and detergents which were deposited into the river. Aggravated by heavy rains, the froth has unfold by way of the city a number of instances in recent times.
Local residents say the contamination is causing respiratory issues and skin irritation amongst kids. A water remedy plant was put in in 2020 to mitigate the issue, and Mosquera’s mayor, Gian Gerometta, said via Twitter that native authorities are monitoring the problem and dealing to cut back the froth.
ECUADOR: The ministers of protection, power and mines, agriculture, and human rights resigned over the past week in Ecuador on the request of President Guillermo Lasso. Lasso will full his first 12 months of workplace in May, and in response to the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency, is finishing up a general restructuring of his cabinet.
The 4 resignation letters thank President Lasso and checklist completely different causes for stepping down. Ecuador’s presidential advisor Diego Ordonez told the press that the cabinet is not in crisis, and the resignations serve to strengthen Lasso’s governing group. The modifications come as Ecuador faces will increase in crime and gang-related violence, and manufacturing and export crises within the agricultural sector.
ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES/VENEZUELA: Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, on his return from Venezuela this week, stated that President Nicolás Maduro had agreed to cancel St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ debt beneath the PetroCaribe oil settlement. The two leaders met on Monday to debate areas of “strategic alliance” between Venezuela and the Caribbean, in response to a press launch by Venezuela’s overseas ministry.
Gonsalves estimated that his nation owed Venezuela about US$70 million, roughly 9% of public debt. He additionally acknowledged that Maduro would halve the debt of different Eastern Caribbean international locations concerned in PetroCaribe.
Through the PetroCaribe settlement established in 2005, Venezuela offered discounted oil to Caribbean international locations. A major decline in Venezuela’s oil manufacturing in recent times has negatively affected this commerce.
HONDURAS: The authorities on Monday repealed a law that approved self-governing financial zones often called ZEDEs. This choice compelled overseas traders in Honduras to pause plans to develop in these zones. President Xiomara Castro stated that Monday’s repeal was “historic” and the nation was “recovering its sovereignty.”
ZEDEs appeared after they had been approved by a constitutional modification and an enabling regulation handed in 2013. As a approach to deliver overseas funding to impoverished areas of Honduras, libertarians and free-market thinkers sought to arrange the self-governing zones.
Prospera, a 58-acre venture is about to develop on the Caribbean island of Roatan. Its U.S. backers intend to proceed with growth.
NICARAGUA: Michael Healy and Alvaro Vargas, two prime executives of Nicaragua’s largest enterprise affiliation were convicted on Friday of “undermining national integrity.”
The Nicaraguan Center for Human rights demanded the instant launch of the executives in a statement. More than 40 opposition officers in Nicaragua have been convicted of crimes resembling laundering cash, property, and belongings. Ortega’s authorities has been condemned internationally for its actions towards the media and opposition leaders.
MEXICO: President Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador (AMLO) and members of his cupboard on Thursday proposed an electoral reform that can change the way in which by which voters choose their representatives.
The president stated that this reform will not be meant to create a “single-party” system. The proposal would create a brand new federal elections authority and remove a number of state-level our bodies, in addition to embrace changes to 18 constitutional articles.
This is AMLO’s second-largest reform as president after failing to obtain adequate votes on his power sector proposals. Mexico requires a two-thirds majority in Congress to make constitutional modifications, which AMLO and his social gathering don’t have.
US/REGION: Leaders from Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba won’t obtain an invite to this 12 months’s Summit of the Americas hosted in Los Angeles, said a U.S. state department official on Wednesday. The official refused to reply whether or not Venezuela’s opposition chief, Juan Guaidó can be invited.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols stated that it could be up to the White House to increase an invite to Guaidó. The U.S. and a number of other different international locations acknowledge Guaidó as Venezuela’s chief. Nicaragua’s and Cuba’s participation within the summit can be unlikely resulting from Washington’s tense relationship with their governments.
The summit will invite a number of leaders from the Western Hemisphere to primarily deal with local weather change, migration, and response to COVID-19.