Energy and mines, Putin’s interests in Venezuela

The crisis in Argentina: now there are no tires

The struggle between tire manufacturers such as Bridgestone, Fate, Pirelli and Tire Union (SUTNA) is at its height. Yesterday afternoon, a new attempt to reach a wage agreement between the two parties failed, and after a strike that began last Thursday and is still in effect, the main companies in the sector were paralyzed. Fate, Bridgestone and Pirelli produce about 6 million tires annually in Argentina. It is estimated that since the conflict began in April of this year, they have stopped producing more than 1.3 million units. The direct result of this production shortfall was that yesterday Ford Motor Company was forced to suspend two production shifts at the General Pacheco plant due to tire shortages.

Protest against Petro reforms in Colombia

Singing “Petro Fury”, 60,000 people demonstrated across the country yesterday. There is concern among Colombians about a package of reforms to the tax system, pension, health and electoral system proposed by the Petro government renamed Petroreformas. In the controversial tax reform, there is a tax on soft drinks and snack foods, which seeks to tax consumption but without raising the value-added tax. It would increase the cost of food for low-income families and could bankrupt thousands of neighborhood stores that rely on selling this type of food and drink.

Tax reform also contains a special tax on pensions, another on wealth and inheritance, as well as an increase in the property tax, all taxes hitting the pockets of the middle class, the same social class that Gustavo Petro promised not to touch. When he asserted that his reform would affect only the 4,000 richest families in the country. But The reform that worries Colombians the most is pension reformwhich threatens to end the individual insurance system and forces most people to compulsorily contribute to the public pension fund, Colpensiones, which is on the verge of bankruptcy averted only by transfers it has received from the government for years.

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Political reform, which denies parties the right to present themselves on open lists, and prevents them from seeking external funding for their campaigns that can only be funded by the state, is also criticized. But health reform is also daunting, as it seeks to bring an end to the state-built public-private insurance system to be replaced by a fully centralized and state-controlled system. Finally, yesterday’s protest was intended to increase gasoline, which Petro decided to introduce a new tax.

Chile is in crisis after massive hacking of the army by an anarchist group

Chile is on high alert after the massive attack on military servers in an operation in which some 400,000 highly classified emails were stolen. The information was posted on platforms that expose hacking, such as the page known as “Hacktivist Link”. The piracy group known as Guacamaya declared, in a public message, that this would be the first step in intervening against what it called “oppressive forces”, referring to the military forces of various countries. This group, which traditionally discloses sensitive information from large mining companies, claims to have up to 10 terabytes of information from police and militaries in Peru, Mexico, Colombia and El Salvador. The hacker group is an anarchist organization that rejects the concept of nation-state and capitalism and refuses to label Latin America as such, preferring instead to call it “Abia Yala”, a phrase from the Guna tribe, which means “Terra Matura”. For some historians, the phrase will be the first name given to the American continent.

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The Wagner Group in Latin America: Exploiting Resources and Defending Russian Interests in Venezuela

Mercenaries Evgeny Prigozhin was tasked with designing the Maduro Security Service, protecting Russian energy companies in Latin America, and controlling mining in the Orinoco Basin. Prigozhin himself, a businessman close to Russian President Putin, admitted this today.

Fat Leonard, the businessman wanted in the largest corruption case in the US Navy, seeks asylum from Venezuela

Venezuelan daily ltimas Noticias reported that Leonard Glenn Francis, who was recently arrested by Interpol at the request of the United States, told a Caracas court that his wish was to remain in the country and seek asylum.

Uruguayan security official arrested for forging Russian passports

Alejandro Estesiano, the head of security for Uruguay’s president, Luis Lacalle Pou, was arrested yesterday as part of an investigation into a gang that manufactured fake Russian passports so that their holders could obtain Uruguayan citizenship. The identities of the deceased were used to forge passports.

Paolo Manzo September 27, 2022

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