Welcome back to Foreign Policy’s Latin America Brief.
The highlights this week: Guyana struggles to manage its newfound oil wealth, Peru’s political crisis deepens, and Argentines ditch their previous criticism of Lionel Messi ahead of a high-stakes World Cup final against France.
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From Backwater to Deepwater
Most South American economies have grown sluggishly this year. But Guyana has been an outlier—both in the region and the world at large. The small country is on track to boast the globe’s highest GDP growth rate of 2022—a staggering 57.8 percent—thanks to steadily rising output from an offshore field where ExxonMobil struck oil in 2015. It took a few years for the company to set up pumping operations in the area, which only produced its first barrels of oil in December 2019.
Guyana’s oil reserves are so vast that the country’s daily production is expected to rise from the current level of around 360,000 barrels a day to around 1 million barrels per day by 2027, dethroning Kuwait as the country with the highest level of oil production per capita worldwide.
Guyana was a relatively poor country before it struck oil seven years ago. Since then, the question of how these riches will be distributed has hung over the country’s politics. Many were worried that, without proper guardrails, Guyana would fall victim to the so-called resource curse, whereby an abundance of natural resources disincentivizes countries from developing other sectors and creates circumstances ripe for corruption. In 2016, government authorities agreed to a deal with ExxonMobil and partner firms that allots Guyana an unusually low cut of profits from an oil-rich exploration zone called the Stabroek Block.
“It’s the most favorable [for oil companies] I think I’ve ever seen in the industry, anywhere,” Tom Mitro, a fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Investment and former Chevron financial officer, told Bloomberg.
Each quarter, the companies pay a 2 percent royalty fee to the government on revenue from oil produced in the block. They are allowed to devote 75 percent of that revenue to paying their previous and ongoing exploration costs, and the remainder is split 50-50 between the companies and the state. The range of costs the companies can deduct before giving profits to the government is unusually large, Mitro and other analysts have said. ExxonMobil told Bloomberg that the deal was consistent with agreements in other countries at such an early stage of oil exploration.
Dissatisfaction over how the largely Afro-Guyanese-backed government handled Guyana’s oil contracts was a key reason it was voted out of office in 2020, Guyanese journalist Kiana Wilburg told Foreign Policy. Now, the largely Indo-Guyanese-backed administration that replaced it is responding to the criticism by adjusting its preliminary terms for a new auction of oil leases that kicked off last week and will run through May. The areas being auctioned lie between the Stabroek Block and the coastline.
The draft rules include a 10 percent royalty fee to the government, set the cost recovery portion of revenue at 65 rather than 75 percent, and introduce a 10 percent corporate tax. After cost recovery, profits are still divided 50-50.
In late 2021, Guyana’s government created a sovereign wealth fund with oil revenues and soon afterward approved plans to spend nearly all of its holdings at the time. The government says it put around $600 million from the fund toward its 2022 budget, set to be around 44.3 percent higher than last year’s.
“Speaking to several young people there is an optimism about their futures in Guyana rather than what has been for decades a cynicism and an overwhelming impulse to migrate,” the editorial board of Guyana’s Stabroek News wrote in July about the oil boom’s impact on the local labor market.
Still, transparency advocates, opposition politicians, and investigative reporters in the country have pressed the government—so far with little success—to be more open and systematic about the way it is spending its oil money, including the $600 million earmarked for this year.
“Ideally, the proceeds should be geared towards orienting the economy away from oil and gas so that in 30 years when the industry … [has] to be dismantled, agro-processing, high-quality manufacturing and financial and technological services will be the pre-eminent features,” the Stabroek News wrote in an editorial in April.
The government says it is beginning to put such a transformation in motion. In July, it published a low-carbon development strategy that includes plans to invest in forest maintenance, tourism, and sustainable housing.
The strategy is part of Guyana’s answer to environmentalist critics who say it should not be drilling for oil at all. The other part of its argument hinges on historic injustices. President Irfaan Ali estimates that Guyana has around 30 years before global demand for oil dries up and argues that oil sold until then should benefit poorer countries most vulnerable to climate change. Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who was a star at the most recent United Nations Climate Change Conference, has made a similar argument, and Barbados is now preparing its own auction for offshore oil and gas leases.
Meanwhile, some Guyanese continue to scrutinize their country’s oil dealings. This month, social media users and opposition members criticized ExxonMobil’s placement of billboards across the country that read: “Guyana receives 52 percent of all profits from Stabroek Block.” There was no mention of the 75 percent of revenue that goes to oil company costs. An opposition member and former head of the country’s environmental protection agency called the billboards “propaganda to mislead and silence our people’s bonafide concerns.”
The terms of Guyana’s newest contracts may yet change. Mitro told Foreign Policy that based on what has been published, the new draft terms are unusual in that they contain no provisions for periods of time in which oil is especially profitable. Such a clause could hypothetically kick in during an oil price spike like the one that followed Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, increasing Guyana’s share of proceeds.
“Regarding oil and gas in Guyana, even though it was discovered in 2015, there is still a lot of about the fundamentals of the industry that many citizens are not fully aware of,” Wilburg said. She has thrown herself into the topic, hosting a show at Kaieteur Radio called Guyana’s Oil and You.
“There is still that information gap we are trying to close,” she added, about “what you should be demanding.”
Sunday, Dec. 18: Argentina plays France in the finals of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Sunday, Jan. 1: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is inaugurated as president of Brazil.
Peru’s state of emergency. Nationwide protests supporting ousted Peruvian President Pedro Castillo have grown violent over the past week, resulting in the closure of two airports and clashes with security forces that left at least seven people dead.
On Monday, new President Dina Boluarte, who took office after Castillo was impeached and detained following his Dec. 7 attempt to dissolve the country’s Congress, reneged on a previous statement saying she would not seek early elections and agreed to move the next vote up, provisionally to 2024. On Wednesday, Boluarte’s government also declared a 30-day state of emergency for the country.
Four Latin American governments on Monday released a statement of support for Castillo—those of Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina. Chile and Brazil did not join.
The Economist’s Michael Reid tweeted that the groups driving the protests include local politicians who want to use the public anger in the streets as a bargaining tool, organized hard-left parties that backed Castillo, and criminal groups such illegal miners and narcotraffickers who seek to capitalize on the chaos. Among the demonstrators, too, are rural Peruvians who feel disaffected and neglected by the elite in Lima, Peru’s capital, Reid wrote.
Stability in Peru requires that politics be able to address the grievances of this last group, legal scholar Alonso Gurmendi tweeted Wednesday. The Castillo administration proposed doing that but failed disastrously. “As things stand Peru’s elites are unable to understand the gravity of the crisis and they still think they can shoot their way to social peace. I fear they are gravely mistaken,” he added.
The catch in U.S.-Mexico ties. Two new investigations published by U.S. media outlets take a deep dive into how anti-narcotics cooperation between the United States and Mexico reached a low point in recent years, visible in the Mexican government’s sidelining of a top Mexican anti-drug operative, its slow-walking of visa renewals for U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, and its backing away from the security cooperation program the Mérida Initiative.
Even as U.S. deaths from fentanyl, which is often trafficked into the country from Mexico, have risen—to an estimated all-time high of more than 70,000 last year—law enforcement authorities in the two countries have dramatically curtailed joint investigations, both the Washington Post and a New York Times Magazine/ProPublica collaboration reported.
Part of the decline in cooperation can be traced to the attitude of current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who in his public discourse prides himself on pushing back against U.S. intrusions in Mexican internal affairs. Since his 2018 election, López Obrador has also worked to strengthen the authority of Mexico’s army. In 2020, following a binational anti-corruption probe that targeted a high-ranking retired Mexican general who had allegedly colluded with a Pacific Coast drug gang, López Obrador objected to the general’s arrest by U.S. authorities and then presided over the delays in DEA visas and subsequent chilling of cooperation.
For its part, the United States did not live up to its pledges to work to reduce demand for opioids, the Post wrote.
Washington has often held back from publicly criticizing López Obrador’s pushback to cooperation. That’s in part because the White House wanted his help controlling northbound migration, a senior Mexican official told the Times and ProPublica. “The [Biden administration’s] agenda consists of immigration, immigration, and immigration.”Argentina supporters display a banner depicting images of soccer player Lionel Messi and late soccer star Diego Maradona before the start of the 2022 World Cup quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and Argentina at Lusail Stadium, north of Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 9.
Messi-mania. Argentina’s World Cup final against France this Sunday is the last step between Argentina and “eternal glory,” an Argentine television broadcast claimed this week. The national team’s victory against Croatia in Tuesday’s semifinal led thousands of Argentines to flood streets, plazas, and even highway overpasses across the country in celebration.
But even if the national team walks away without the title this weekend, its World Cup campaign has already produced a powerful change in Argentine soccer fandom. Star striker Lionel Messi, who is considered by some to be the best player of all time, was once criticized by many Argentines for his repeated failure to win titles for the country while performing well for his club teams in Europe. Commentators said he had become too European after years of playing abroad, a critique that Argentine American journalist Jasmine Garsd explores in the NPR/Futuro Studios podcast The Last Cup.
Now, after a 2021 Copa América title and his current streak in Qatar, Messi appears to have won over any remaining doubters. In recent days, fans delightedly shared images of him together with Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona.
What is the official language of Guyana?
Guyana is the only nation in South America where the official language is English. Much of the population speaks Guyanese Creole.
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In Focus: Chile Tries AgainStudents demonstrate to demand a new constitution-drafting process near La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, on Sept. 14.
Three months after Chileans voted down a progressive draft constitution in a nationwide referendum, national lawmakers from across the political spectrum have agreed on guidelines to give the process another go.
Politicians from 14 parties reached a deal Monday that outlines a January to December 2023 drafting and approval process. For it to kick off, the proposal still must pass a formal congressional vote.
The suggested design of the second rewrite process aims to address factors seen as responsible for the first’s failure. The previous proposed constitution was drafted by an assembly of directly elected delegates, many of whom identified as political independents, and the document they produced was 388 articles long. It included extensive new provisions for Indigenous groups, nature, health care, and housing rights. After the draft constitution was voted down, leftist President Gabriel Boric said political leaders learned that “you cannot go faster than your people.”
The new framework appears designed to produce a less transformational charter. Under its rules, a team of experts appointed by Chile’s National Congress—where Boric’s party is in the minority—will outline a new document. Then, a group of 50 publicly elected assembly members will write their draft based on the outline. Finally, the draft will be “harmonized” before being put to a national referendum.
Like the first rewrite process, half of the elected constitutional assembly will be required to be women. In a shift, however, there will not be a pre-set minimum quota of Indigenous members. Instead, Indigenous seats will be allotted based on Indigenous voter turnout in assembly elections.
The deal represents “the return of political realism,” University of Santiago, Chile political scientist Marcelo Mella Polanco wrote for news site CIPER. The rejection of the proposed constitution was a significant defeat for Boric, who had supported it, but this new process appears to have a chance of success, Mella Polanco wrote.
An immediate topic that sprang into public debate was how exactly someone could be classified as an “expert.” The deal stipulated they be of “indisputable professional, technical, and/or academic trajectory.” These days, “who is indisputable?” economist Noam Titelman, a former student organizer with Boric, mused on Radio Duna.
Many in Chile’s academic community pushed back against the part of the deal that said the experts would not be paid for their labor, saying it encouraged recruitment from the ranks of paid think tankers who tended to be pre-aligned with political parties. Heeding their concerns, Boric called Wednesday to tweak the deal so that they would receive salaries.Credit: https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/12/16/guyana-oil-economy-gdp-exxonmobil-stabroek-resource-curse/
- The climate for doing business in Latin America has improved in the fourth quarter compared to the third, influenced by better perceptions about the current situation, but remained less than positive, said a report released on Wednesday.
Brazilian think tank Fundación Getulio Vargas said in its quarterly report that the Economic Climate Index (ECI) rose 11.8 points to 66.5 points, a level still well below the 100-point mark that indicates a favorable climate. .
Constructed as the geometric mean of the Present Situation Index (PSI) and the Expectations Index (EI), the ECI increased this quarter mainly due to an improvement in the PSI, which rose 22.7 points to 67 points, according to the report. The IE registered 66.1 points with a slight increase of 0.6 points, indicating stability.
Latin America's ICE has remained mostly at an unfavorable level since the third quarter of 2013, according to the report.
In the fourth quarter, the business climate in Brazil has improved the most, with an ECI increase of 30 points, while Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia have also seen an improvement, but only Paraguay (114.7). and Uruguay (108.2) were in the favorable zone.
"There was an improvement in the current situation driven by the largest economies in the region, but expectations rose little or fell," the report says. ■
- The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) said this Friday that it raised the commission for financial intermediaries, such as banks and exchange houses, for the first time in eight years.
The commission increased from 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent, which took effect on November 16.
The price readjustment is due "to the global increase in interest rates in US dollars, which was generated by the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) and other monetary authorities in the world, in order to reverse the inflationary process," he said. the bank.
"This increase translates into higher import costs of monetary material in dollars for the BCB," he added.
The Fed raised the interest rate by 0.75 percentage point earlier this month in an attempt to curb inflation.
Bolivian economist Mike Gemio said recently that the Fed's hike is likely to have an impact on developing economies in the region by making it harder to service loans or attract foreign investment, causing an economic slowdown. ■
The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its general debate on agenda item nine on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.
In the general debate, many speakers welcomed the work of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
They said the comprehensive action-oriented Durban Declaration and Program of Action remain an essential tool to combat racism and racial discrimination, and are as relevant today as they were in 2001 when they were adopted by consensus at the World Conference against Racism in Durban.
Some speakers highlighted the importance of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination and reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Declaration.
The implementation and comprehensive follow-up of the Durban Declaration must continue to be a priority for all States.
Many speakers said that systemic racism and other forms of racial discrimination continued to deprive millions of people of their dignity, equality and fundamental human rights.
Minorities and ethnic groups, namely people of African, Asian and Muslim descent, have long been discriminated against and marginalized, their rights have been violated and their security is under constant threat of violence.
Racism, ethnic profiling and the glorification of past crimes seriously undermined efforts to promote international peace and security.
Some speakers expressed concern about the persistence of structural racism, particularly in developed countries, and their subsequent attempts to evade their historical debt to people who were victims of slavery.
Several speakers strongly condemned racial injustices and racially motivated violence perpetrated against people of African descent, saying that the reports presented under the agenda item painted a bleak picture; it was clear that the world was not doing enough to end racism and racial discrimination.
Some speakers highlighted cases of Islamophobia and strongly condemned any action that prevents Muslims from practicing their faith.
Aligning the actions of terrorist groups with religions such as Islam is an act of racial discrimination.
Some speakers said that in autocratic systems, racist hate speech and dehumanization of ethnic or religious groups were often elevated to the level of state ideology, with the aim of replacing any internal discourse with propaganda about the designated enemy.
Only through collective efforts can racism and racial discrimination be eliminated.
Diversity was a strength and not a threat to society.
Some speakers highlighted that, although more than two years had passed since African-American George Floyd died as a result of police violence, discriminatory law enforcement against ethnic minorities and related violence and deaths continued to emerge in some countries.
Police racism and violence were issues of chronic, systemic and structural racism and social inequality in certain countries, with the legacy of slavery and colonialism in their history.
Some speakers said it was unfortunate that in some of the countries that proclaimed themselves leaders in human rights, people were more likely to be extrajudicially detained or killed by law enforcement because of the color of their skin.
Although digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, presented increasing opportunities, their misuse also posed risks to fundamental rights and democracy, some speakers said.
They expressed deep concern about the rise of online hate speech and harassment, which was often driven by algorithms programmed to record engagement, generate more views, and stimulate users to post hateful content.
Despite the opportunities digital platforms offered for public engagement and participation, speakers were concerned that the misuse of those platforms could amplify hate speech and contribute to national, ethnic, racial, or religious polarization.
It was essential to protect and promote the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age.
There was a need to work on the use of technology as a means to contribute to the fight against racism and racial discrimination.
Some speakers called on relevant countries to address the serious problems of racism and racial discrimination in their countries, and comprehensively review and review discriminatory policies, review judicial and law enforcement bodies, and thoroughly investigate cases of violence to hold criminals accountable and compensate victims.
States must adopt a victim-oriented approach to the problems of racism and related intolerance to accelerate action for racial equality and address disparities and inequalities in human development.
The Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should attach greater importance to the problems of racial discrimination and violence by law enforcement agencies and take the necessary measures.
Several speakers urged the international community to redouble its efforts to resolve international challenges and address problems related to any form of racism.
They said that the Council had a role to play in leading the discussion on the issue, with a broad commitment and participation of States.
Some speakers discussed ways in which their countries were deepening national programs focused on eliminating racism and racial discrimination, with civil society often playing a critical role in this process.
They described the specific legislation and mechanisms that had been established to prevent, address, eradicate and punish racial discrimination.
One speaker reported on specific programs that exist to deal with hate crimes in certain States, including a free program that assists victims of anti-Muslim hate through counseling, advocacy and legal signaling services.
Speakers said that many States had been represented at the General Assembly in September, where they commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
Speaking in the general debate were China on behalf of a group of countries, Armenia on behalf of a group of countries, Cuba, Venezuela, China, Namibia, India, Armenia, Malaysia, the United States, Nepal, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Benin , Bolivia, Ukraine, Malawi, Qatar, Mauritania, Sudan, Germany, Israel, Ecuador, Iraq, Morocco, Bahrain, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nigeria, Peru, Syria, Belarus, Algeria, Suriname, Türkiye, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Georgia.
The following non-governmental organizations spoke: International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, International Movement of Youth and Students for the United Nations, Al Baraem Association for Charity Work, Social Organization "Association of Women with University Education", Elizka Relief Foundation, Institute for NGO Research, International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic and Other Minorities, International Service for Human Rights, International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Coordination Board of Jewish Organizations, Afrique Esperance, World Jewish Congress, China Foundation for the Development of Human Rights, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man, Chinese NGO Network for International Exchanges, Interfaith International, Rencontre Af ricaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, B'nai B'rith, Fitilla, Guinea Humanitaire and Center Europeen pour le droit, les Justice et les droits de l'homme.
Also speaking were the China Association for International Understanding, the Chinese Society for Human Rights Studies, the Youth Parliament for the SDGs, International-Lawyers.Org, the Center for Gender Justice and Women's Empowerment, the International Humanist Union and Ethics, the Meezaan Center for Human Rights, Human Rights Information and Training Center, Human Is Right, Association Ma'onah for Human Rights and Immigration, Peace Track Initiative, Sikh Human Rights Group, International Commission of Jurists, Conselho Indigenista Missionário , Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Conectas Direitos Humanas, Association Bharathi Center Culturel Franco-Tamoul, Association pour les Victimes Du Monde, Organization for the Defense of Victims of Violence, Integrated Youth Empowerment - Joint Initiative Group, Platform for the Integration of Youth and Volunteering, Association pour la défense des droits de l'homme et des rev endications démocratiques/culturelles du peuple Azerbaidjanais-Iran, Mother of Hope Cameroon Common Initiativ e Group, Africa Culture Internationale, Institut International pour les Droits et le Développement, Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health, Iraqi Development Organization and LePont. Speaking with the right of reply, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
General discussion on agenda item nine on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, began at the previous meeting and a summary can be found here.
The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here.
All meeting summaries can be found here.
Documents and reports related to the fifty-first regular session of the Human Rights Council can be found here.
The Human Rights Council will resume its work at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon when it will hear the High Commissioner's oral presentation on the situation of human rights in Ukraine, followed by an interactive dialogue.
The Council will then hear a presentation of the High Commissioner's report on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by an enhanced interactive dialogue.
If time permits, the Council will hear an oral update from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in South Sudan, including the challenges facing the post-conflict transition, followed by an interactive discussion.
More than 80 maternal and child health experts from around the world have concluded a meeting in Freetown with the aim of improving midwifery education.
The body of experts included health authorities from Sierra Leone, Malawi, Bolivia, Pakistan and India, the WHO and other global health partners.
Their deliberations focused on finding actionable strategies to help strengthen the quality of midwifery education and training in order to improve standards that will help curb preventable maternal and newborn deaths.
The preventable death of mothers and young children remains a major public health challenge in many low- and middle-income countries, including participating countries.
In 2010, Sierra Leone introduced the Free Health Care Initiative to improve universal access to quality health care for pregnant and lactating mothers and children under 5 years of age.
The Initiative and other national strategies have contributed to improving the coverage of essential services for these categories of beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2019) showed that about 83% of all deliveries take place in health facilities, and about 87% of these are attended by qualified health care providers.
However, statistics on the burden of the country's maternal and infant mortality rate are still grim and among the highest in the world.
The maternal mortality rate is estimated at 717 per 100,000 live births (2019), while neonatal mortality is estimated at 31 per 1,000 live births.
“Sierra Leone has many experiences to share on maternal and child mortality and, at the same time, has much to learn from the experiences and lessons of other parts of the world to help curb the perennial and unacceptably high mortality of women of childbearing age and babies,” says Dr. Steven Shongwe, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.
“We can change this narrative now rather than later because we have the opportunity and the tools to do so.
We have evidence-based policies, strategies, guidelines, standards and best practices.
However, we must now be intentional and challenge ourselves to improve institutional capacities for midwifery education and training to transform the delivery of health services that will save the lives of women during childbirth and children early in life.
life,” added Dr. Shongwe.
He emphasized the need for strategic investment in human resources for health, equipment, medicines and supplies.
Through financial support from the MSD for Mothers Foundation, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and other partners are providing technical assistance to countries to implement programs aimed at improving public-private partnership to drive investment in strengthening the human resources and institutional capacities to enable health facilities to provide optimal quality health care, including obstetric care, when and where it is needed to achieve universal health coverage.
In 2019, WHO launched the Framework for Action to Strengthen the Quality of Midwifery Education for Universal Health Coverage 2030.
The Framework sets out the steps that countries need to take to develop and strengthen their national strategies for human resources for health.
, including strengthening quality midwifery capacities.
WHO works closely with multiple partners, including UNFPA, UNICEF, other UN agencies, donors and development partners to help the Ministry of Health and Sanitation advocate, mobilize resources and act together to reach the required number of trained and qualified midwives and health-related.
professionals that Sierra Leone needs.
Some of the main results of this meeting will lead to better coordination, regulation, capacities and functionality of midwifery in Sierra Leone and the other participating countries.
An indigenous man who lived in complete isolation in the Brazilian Amazon for over 25 years has died, the indigenous rights group Survival International announced late on Monday.
According to Funai, Brazil’s agency for the country’s indigenous population, which was tasked with monitoring him, the man was found dead in a hammock.
There were reportedly no signs of foul play.
The indigenous man was known as “Índio Tanaru’’ or “Índio of the hole,’’ as he was known to dig deep holes in which he hid and caught animals.
He was believed to be the last survivor of his tribe and the only inhabitant of Tanaru territory in the state of Rondônia.
He was dubbed by some as the world’s loneliest person.
Human rights activists believe that the other remaining members of his tribe were killed by cattle ranchers when they expanded into the region in the 1970s and 1980s.
The region, near Brazil’s border with Bolivia, was often referred to as Brazil’s Wild West, as land conflicts were often settled violently.
According to Fiona Watson of Survival International, the man “symbolised both the appalling violence and cruelty inflicted on indigenous peoples in the name of colonisation and economic benefit and their resistance,’’ statement said.
Peruvian police and public prosecution agents raided the presidential palace in Lima on Tuesday in an unsuccessful bid to arrest Yenifer Paredes, the sister-in-law of President Pedro Castillo, for alleged corruption and money laundering.
The unprecedented police operation was carried out after the prosecutor’s office requested a “raid” of the “residential area of the government palace,” the Court of Justice said in a statement.
After almost four hours of searching, the agents left the presidential residence without finding Paredes, who now appears to be a fugitive from justice.
Paredes, 26, lives with Castillo and his family in the presidential residence within the Government Palace.
Judicial raids were taking place simultaneously in several other locations in the capital, with Jose Nenil Medina, a mayor from Castillo’s native Chota province, and businessmen brothers Hugo and Angie Espino arrested for alleged involvement in the same corruption ring.
The court authorized the preliminary detentions of those involved for 10 days.
Paredes had already been summoned to testify before the public prosecutor’s office and to appear before a commission of the Peruvian Congress in mid-July. The public prosecutor’s office has five open investigations against President Castillo, who is himself facing corruption allegations.
In a message broadcast on television late Tuesday, Castillo called the operation “an illegal raid” that was part of a conspiracy to remove him from office.
“Today, the Government Palace and the Presidential House have once again been violated with an illegal raid endorsed by a judge, coincidentally when a request is being made for my disqualification for five years to take away from the Peruvian people their legitimate government,” said Castillo, a 52-year-old former teacher and trade unionist.
Earlier on Tuesday, a parliamentary report recommended disqualifying and criminally prosecuting Castillo over his reported consideration of a proposal to allow landlocked Bolivia access to the sea through Peru, an allegation he denies.
Castillo completed a year in office in July. He has so far faced two impeachment proceedings in Congress and has a 74 percent disapproval rating amongst the public, according to opinion polls.
Paredes is the fourth person in the presidential entourage to be investigated for alleged corruption.
Other members of Castillo’s close circle to be prosecuted are a nephew who served as an adviser and a former transportation minister, both of whom are fugitives from justice, and his former presidential secretary.
Turkey, Venezuela announce plans for closer ties Plans de Jaeneiro, June 9, 2022 Turkey and Venezuela have signalled their intention to forge closer partnership as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro signed several agreements in Ankara. Both sides stressed the importance of improved bilateral relations, with Maduro calling Erdoğan his “brother” in a tweet, while the Turkish president condemned the “unilateral” sanctions on Venezuela in a tweet written in Spanish. The U.S. had imposed a whole range of sanctions against the authoritarian Venezuelan leadership. Maduro, unlike most other Latin American leaders, was not invited to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week by U.S. President Joe Biden. The U.S. government also declined to invite the authoritarian leaders of Cuba and Nicaragua to the summit, that caused Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Bolivian President Luis Arce and Honduran President Xiomara Castro to cancel their own planned participation. Venezuela had been in a severe political and economic crisis for years, experiencing dire food, medicine and fuel shortages despite the country’s enormous oil wealth, forcing millions of Venezuelans to leave the country. (
Bolivian prosecutors said Monday they would seek a 15-year prison term for former President Jeanine Anez, who is on trial for an alleged plot, dismissed as fictitious by many, to oust her rival and predecessor Evo Morales.
Áñez, 54, has been in preventive detention since March 2021 and denounces what she calls political persecution.
She was arrested just a few months after handing over the presidential reins she had held in an interim capacity to elected leader Luis Arce, a Morales protégé.
Áñez faces charges in two trials, including a criminal case that she attended by videoconference from her cell on Monday, for “breach of duty” and making resolutions contrary to the Constitution when she was a senator, before becoming president.
In this case, Attorney General Juan Lanchipa said at a press conference on Monday that he will seek a 15-year prison sentence.
In a separate case pending before lawmakers, Áñez faces sedition and other charges related to her brief presidential term.
The right-wing Anez became Bolivia's interim president in November 2019 after Morales, who claimed to have won a fourth consecutive term as president, fled the country in the face of mass protests against alleged electoral fraud.
The Organization of American States (OAS) said at the time that it had found clear evidence of voting irregularities in favor of Morales, who had been in power for 14 years.
Many of those who would have succeeded Morales, all members of his MAS party, also resigned and fled. This left the opposition Áñez, then vice president of the Senate, as the highest-ranking official on the left.
The Constitutional Court recognized Áñez's mandate as interim president, but MAS members questioned her legitimacy.
The elections were held a year later and Arce won. With the presidency and congress firmly under MAS control, Morales returned to Bolivia in November 2020.
Áñez was arrested in March of the following year, accused of irregularly assuming the presidency.
At the start of her brief presidency, Áñez had called in the police and army to restore order. The post-electoral conflict caused some 35 deaths, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
For this reason, Áñez also faces charges of genocide.
A 36-year-old man was arrested and placed in psychiatric care after he smeared cake on a glass screen covering the Mona Lisa, prosecutors said Monday, in an alleged protest against artists not focusing enough on " the planet".
Officials at the Louvre Museum in Paris, where the enigmatic portrait takes pride of place, declined to comment on Sunday's bizarre incident, which was captured on multiple phones and widely circulated on social media.
The prized work of Leonardo da Vinci, which has been the target of vandalism attempts in the past, escaped unscathed thanks to its bulletproof glass case.
A Twitter user identified as Lukeee posted a video showing a museum employee cleaning glass and another showing a man dressed in white being escorted by security guards.
“A man dressed as an old woman jumps out of a wheelchair and tries to break the bulletproof glass of the Mona Lisa. He then proceeds to spread cake on the glass and throws roses everywhere, all before being approached by security,” Lukeee wrote.
Speaking French, the man says: “There are people who are destroying the Earth… All artists, think about the Earth. That's why I did this. Think of the planet.
No images have surfaced showing the actual incident.
An investigation has been opened into "an attempt to vandalize a cultural work," the Paris prosecutor's office said.
The Mona Lisa has been behind glass since a Bolivian man threw a rock at the painting in December 1956, damaging her left elbow. In 2005, it was placed in a reinforced box that also controls temperature and humidity.
In 2009, a Russian woman threw an empty teacup at the painting, which slightly scratched the box.
The Louvre is the world's largest museum, home to hundreds of thousands of works that drew some 10 million visitors a year before the Covid-19 pandemic.