Monday, August 3, 2020
Subscribers Section User ID Password
In brief
Latinamerica Press
Send a comment Print this page

Latin America and the Caribbean, Argentina, Peru.

On Dec. 5, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented “Poverty and Human Rights in the Americas,” its first thematic report on this issue. And although according to the IACHR, “in the past decade the region made important progress in the area of social, economic, cultural, and environmental rights (ESCER), which enabled large segments of the population to rise out of poverty and extreme poverty,” these achievements are now at risk of being reversed in Latin America and the Caribbean. For the IACHR, there is an interdependence between civil and political rights and ESCERs, as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court) has “also clearly established the link that exists between the right to health and the right to education, considering them as fundamental pillars for guaranteeing the enjoyment of a life with dignity. Poverty affects about one-third of the region’s 650 million inhabitants, particularly women, children and adolescents, indigenous people, Afro-descendants, persons deprived of their liberty, persons with disabilities, the LGBTI population, and the elderly.

In Latin America and the Caribbean 38.6 percent of the population, equivalent to 241 million people, do not have any kind of social protection benefits, while the remaining 61.4 percent frequently have access to coverage that is very low, stated the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the report “World Social Protection Report 2017-2019,” released on Dec. 4. Rural, independent, micro-enterprise and domestic workers are excluded from social protection or have very low effective coverage due to the structural constraints of the national economies and the high incidence of labor informality. The average total expenditure on social security, excluding health, stands at about 16 percent of the regional gross domestic product (GDP). Protection implies having access to medical care and a guarantee of income, particularly with regard to old age, unemployment, sickness, disability, accidents at work or occupational diseases, maternity, or the loss of a family’s main source of income.

Barbados, Grenada, Panama, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago were included in a “blacklist” of 17 tax havens that was adopted on Dec. 5 by the Council of Economy and Finance Ministers of the European Union. This list includes countries whose commitments to strengthen their tax laws have fallen short of being sufficient. A “grey list” was also made public, showing 47 nations that have made inroads in fiscal transparency and cooperation, among them Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Uruguay. Sanctions for blacklisted countries would include the non-access to European development funds and intensive controls on taxpayers operating in these jurisdictions. The cases of Caribbean countries affected by hurricanes in August and September will be analyzed in February; they are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Dominica, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The justice system in Argentina “took a major step forward yesterday in matters of human rights by sentencing 29 repressors to life imprisonment for committing crimes against humanity in the Navy Mechanics School (ESMA), a clandestine detention center during the last dictatorship [1976-83] and for throwing alive prisoners into the sea on what came to be known as “death flights,” said Amnesty International in a statement published on Dec. 1. Human rights organizations estimate that some 4,000 people were thrown into the sea after being drugged. The trial, which began in 2012 and concluded on Nov. 30, is the third phase of the ESMA mega-case, consisting of nine legal proceedings for crimes against humanity committed in this detention center. The first trial took place in 2007 against the Navy officer Héctor Febres but was not concluded due to the suicide of the accused in his cell; and the second one ended in 2011 with 16 persons convicted of crimes, including ex-Captain Jorge Acosta and ex-Lieutenant Alfredo Astiz. Both former Navy officers were given a new life sentence in this third trial.

Five construction company representatives in Peru were arrested on Dec. 4 after anti-corruption judge Richard Concepción ordered an 18-month pretrial detention for the bribery payout involved in the Interocéanica Sur highway construction project, built between 2005 and 2010 and linking Peru’s southern coast with its border with Brazil. The Graña y Montero, JJC, and ICCGSA construction companies were associated with the Brazilian company Odebrecht in the execution of the project and, according to prosecutor Hamilton Castro, who is investigating the Lava Jato case in Peru, Odebrecht paid a bribe of US$20 million to former president Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006). As they were supposed to share the bribe, in 2011 the Peruvian construction companies ceded more than US$15 million of their profits to Odebrecht under the guise of “additional risks.” Former President Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) and his wife Nadine Heredia have similarly been serving pretrial detention since July, accused of receiving $3 million from Odebrecht to finance their election campaign, while Toledo is facing a request to be extradited from the United States.

Latinamerica Press / Noticias Aliadas
Reproduction of our information is permitted if the source is cited.
Contact us: (511) 7213345
Address: Jr. Daniel Alcides Carrión 866, 2do. piso, Magdalena del Mar, Lima 17, Perú