NotiSur contains news, summaries, and analyses on a variety of political, economic, and social issues in South America. The publication covers regional integration and democratization, including topics such as political parties and elections, governmental reform and judicial issues, political violence and human rights, military issues, and inter-American affairs.
Current IssueUruguay Looks to Tame its Cold War-Era Intelligence System
More than three decades after the last civil-military dictatorship (1973-1985) ended, Uruguay is finally taking steps to replace its long-questioned intelligence apparatus with a system that would be under civilian control and the result, from the outset, of a broad political consensus. Information gathering, special operations, counterintelligence, secret agents, creating false identity documents to protect the identities of those agents, classified and top-secret information, and strong parliamentary oversight are some of the principal contents of a bill introduced Jan. 6 to create a new Sistema Nacional de Inteligencia del Estado (National System of State Intelligence, SNIE). The president’s office expects Congress to approve the legislation in the early part of this year. Consensus to move forward with the project coalesced quickly after the weekly Brecha denounced the military for continuing—just as it did during the bloody dictatorship years—to spy on political parties, labor and civil society groups, and judges and journalists it deems “enemies” and “subversives.”Fujimori Strength Undermines Peruvian Government
A little more than six months into Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s presidential term in Peru, the opposition Fuerza Popular majority in Congress is determined to show it has significant strength, and that Kuczynski, far from holding his own, is ceding power to his leading opponent. Fuerza Popular’s leader Keiko Fujimori lost the June 5 run-off election by a small margin, but she has refused to acknowledge the election results. In the interest of governability, Kuczynski has appointed people close to Fujimori to government positions. Examples are Walter Gutiérrez, appointed to the office of ombudsman, and Víctor Shiguiyama, now in charge of the office that oversees customs and taxation (Superintendencia Nacional de Aduanas y de Administración Tributaria, SUNAT). Many people are concerned about the actions of the ombudsman, who arguing for the need to rationalize the use of resources, has not renewed contracts for dozens of commissioners whose jobs are to defend civil rights, including those of indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and children and adolescents. The Fujimori faction also had major influence in three appointments to the central bank, even though there were questions about the qualifications of two of those appointees.Kuczynski has paid dearly whenever he has tried to show his strength. In early December, he had to deal with the resignations of the president of Petroperú, the state-owned oil company, and its entire board of directors.