Networked Notes - 14 June 2016

By Southern Pulse Staff and Network

Venezuela’s government has ended its two day workweek, a sign the electricity crisis is easing. Public sector employees will now return to work for half days on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of every week. Government officials declared victory. The extreme measures taken prevented Venezuela’s electricity grid from completely collapsing. However, that is a low bar for success.

The same day this “victory” was declared, Venezuela also announced it has experienced a severe cut in oil output in the previous month. While only partially related to the electricity disaster, the oil production reduction is another sign of the country’s significant economic crisis.


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Guatemala’s CICIG continues to pound away at corruption in the Otto Perez Molina government, releasing more information about illegal activities and backing the arrest orders or more former ministers. This has led some in the country to question: Why focus so heavily on the previous administration and less on the current one? Wouldn’t it be more effective to stop ongoing corruption rather than punish past activity? 

First, the cases built by the CICIG took years to collect evidence. The current administration simply hasn’t been in office long enough. Second, the officials at the CICIG take their “counter-impunity” mandate seriously. They view the arrests of previous corrupt officials as the best way to obtain justice and convince current officials they will not be able to escape judicial action if they engage in corruption.

Meanwhile, Guatemala’s neighbors see the actions as a warning. El Salvador has completely opposed the creation of a similar group and Honduras has attempted to limit the powers of an OAS anti-corruption commission.