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The Lava Jato case of corruption and other political news

Corruption, electoral, violence and public figure issues have been present in the Latin American region in recent days .

Germán Efromovich and Diosdado Cabello

These are the most relevant news of this week. / Photos: Wikimedia - Cruks, Wikimedia - Wilfredor

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Revive caso Lava Jato de corrupción y otras noticias políticas

While the Coronavirus continues to shake Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 6.3 million cases, according to Statista, other scandals arouse concern in the region.

Efromovich brothers arrested

Although the surname of the brothers Germán and José is familiar because they are former owners and shareholders of Avianca Holdings, they were arrested in Brazil for the Lava Jato operation, related to the largest corruption case in the region and the country. The Eframovich brothers were not arrested for anything related to Avianca Holdings, but for fraud in shipbuilding contracts of the Eisa - Ilha shipyard, with the state-owned Transpetro, a Petrobras subsidiary.

The Federal Public Ministry published a statement in which it affirms that both are accused of committing irregularities in bidding processes for the purchase, sale and construction of ships. The ministry estimates that the irregularities would have caused damages equivalent to 110 million dollars to the public coffers. Both will remain under house arrest due to the COVID crisis.

Lava Jato is the largest anti-corruption operation in the region in recent times and investigates corruption cases related to the Petrobras scandal in Brazil and the Odebrecht construction company that, although it is Brazilian, has spread to several countries in Latin America and the whole world .

33 massacres in Colombia in 2020

So far this year, Colombia has once again seen the latent armed conflict in its less favored regions. According to a UN report, there are 33 massacres so far.

The alarms went off after 13 people died in two massacres within a week. On Saturday August 15, 8 people under the age of 30 were murdered on a farm in Samaniego, Nariño. While days ago the corpses of 5 minors were found in a sugar cane field in Cali. According to people in the sector, every time this type of violent act occurs, the cane fields are the perfect setting for the bodies to disappear.

Also read: COVID in Colombia, in the eye of the world

Due to this and 31 other massacres, the UN and the Verification Mission in the country warned that violent events take place  where there is a presence of armed groups outside the law, poverty, underground economies and little presence of the State. According to the UN, 80 percent of these acts are carried out in sectors where there is illegal coca production.

In the statement, "the UN calls on the competent authorities to strengthen the measures adopted and carry out all the necessary actions to eliminate this violence."

The health of the Venezuelan number two

Diosdado Cabello's recovery after testing positive for COVID in July has been slow. So much so that many assumed that number two, and for some the true leader of the regime, might be dead. The handling of the situation seemed similar to that when Hugo Chávez fell ill, due to secrecy and lack of information.

However, Cabello came out for the first time in more than a month this Monday to express his state of health and his slow recovery. Although the strength in his voice is not the same due to the illness, he affirmed about the rumors: “I really don't have much courage right now to respond to these people. They see us, they portray us, and then they start looking: 'That is not Diosdado'. Now they know me all ”.

Diosdado Cabello was one of the first of the regime to become infected with Coronavirus and according to the information he has published on his networks, he was in the hospital until August 6. In addition to Cabello, other public officials in Venezuela have suffered from the disease. The head of Government of Caracas, Darío Vivas, died of COVID on August 13.

Rafael Correa, ahead of the elections

The presidential term of his former ally and later opponent, Lenín Moreno , will come to an end in less than a year and, facing the elections, former President Correa has agreed to run for the vice presidency.

The announcement not only comes after Correa had stated on more than one occasion that he would not return to the political career, but that he is in Belgium and has pending accounts with the Ecuadorian justice. Currently, he has a court order and a sentence of 8 years in prison for bribery.

The presidential candidate to be accompanied by the former president will be Andrés Arauz for the Unión por la Esperanza (UNES) party. The announcement of his vice-presidency, according to DW, is "the subject of a meticulous analysis by the top management of the National Electoral Council and the National Court of Justice." This could result in his candidacy being blocked.

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