Following an outburst of angry protest across the country, Peru’s third president in less than a week was sworn in, with a coalition cabinet aimed at bringing the country back from the brink of chaos. The crisis was set off by the impeachment of President Martín Vizcarra, who had been investigating corruption by the hard-right Fujimorista bloc in Congress—and whose removal was assailed as a “legislative coup.” The new interim president, former Congressional leader Manuel Merino, was perceived as a pawn of the hard right; demonstrators flooded the streets of Lima and other cities after his inauguration. In two days of repression by the National Police, two young protesters were killed, more than 200 injured, and two more listed as “disappeared.” Merino and his cabinet stepped down, leaving the country without a president for nearly 24 hours before Congress finally agreed to approve a replacement. This is Francisco Rafael Sagasti, a first-term congressman representing Lima. Although Sagasti is from the center-right Partido Morado, his installation is being seen as a victory for the protesters. He took office with an homage to the slain demonstrators, praising them for having “marched to defend democracy. (Photo: Revista Ojozurdo)
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has finally announced an official impeachment inquiry after reports surfaced that Donald Trump called on a foreign power to intervene in the upcoming election. Trump placed a hold on $391 million in aid to Ukraine just over a week before a July phone call in which he apparently urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden—the son of former US Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s likely opponent in next year’s race. This pretty clearly constitutes use of military aid to Ukraine as a bargaining chip—or an outright bribe. This is not the first time Ukraine’s internal war has become a football in American politics. (Map via Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection)
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern for a law approved in Nicaragua, ostensibly aimed at money-laundering, arms-trafficking and terrorism. The statement warned that the definition of "terrorism" under the law is dangerously "vague," and that it could be used to suppress opposition. The law defines as "terrorism" any damage to public or private property, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Additionally, anyone found guilty of directly or indirectly financing or aiding so-called "terrorist operations" can also face up to 20 years. The law was introduced in April, just as Nicaragua's political crisis was breaking out. The OHCHR noted that the law was passed by a National Assembly "almost completely controlled" by the ruling Sandinista party. (Poto via Noticiias ONU)
Javier Duarte, the ex-governor of Mexico's Veracruz state, was detained by Interpol in Guatemala—the latest in a string of fugitive Mexican ex-governors to be arrested abroad.
Guy Philippe, a former paramilitary boss and coup leader recently elected to Haiti’s senate, was arrested by the DEA days before he would have been sworn into office. (Map: Perry-Castañeda Map Library)
The contentious presidential race in Peru is being shaken by accusations implicating far-right front-runner Keiko Fujimori in a massive money laundering operation.
Civil rights lawyer Ge Yongxi was detained by Chinese authorities for posts on social media that "poked fun" at President Xi Jinping in relation to the Panama Papers.
Four of Peru's presidential candidates, including far-right front-runner Keiko Fujimori, have been implicated in the "Panama Papers" revelations.
Brazil has seen its biggest protests since the end of the dictatorship as ex-president "Lula" da Silva is appointed to a cabinet post that gives him immunity in a corruption scandal.
The DEA claims that Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah is laundering money for the "Oficina de Envigado," successor organization to Colombia's legendary Medellín Cartel.
Chapo Guzmán was apparently tracked down and apprehended after Mexican authorities intercepted his communications with Sean Penn and other show-biz heavies.
Three members of the the Rosenthal family, a pillar of ruling elite in Honduras, were charged by US authorities with money-laundering.