13
Sep
13:33 UTC

MAX – Europe and the Americas Daily Summary – September 13, 2021

The following report reviews current events in the Europe and the Americas region and their possible effect on business continuity and security. 

Highlights of the Day

Americas

  • Americas: Tropical Storm Nicholas to impact northwestern regions in Gulf of Mexico on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates
  • Argentina: FdT defeated in PASO elections as JxC obtains most seats in 18 of 24 provinces on September 12; reflects FdT’s declining support
  • Costa Rica & Nicaragua: Nicaraguan prominent activist shot at near San Jose on September 11; likely targeted for activism against Ortega

Europe

  • Europe: Countries modify restrictions as COVID-19 vaccination drives continue on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates
  • Germany: Bundeswehr reservists suspected of far-right activity, per September 10 report; highlights presence of far-right in military
  • Ukraine: Explosive attack recorded at oil depot in Kirovsky, Donetsk on September 11; indicates threat to critical infrastructure facilities

 

Americas Actionable Items

Americas: Countries amend restrictions as immunization drives against COVID-19 continue on September 13; remain cognizant of updates

In Cuba, effective from November 15, all individuals traveling to the country will be required to present either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival. In Ecuador, President Guillermo Lasso announced that individuals between 12-15 years of age will receive vaccination against COVID-19 starting September 13. Additionally, individuals who wish to transit through Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO) or Guayaquil’s Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) before traveling to the Galapagos Islands will be required to present either of the following documents: a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hours prior to travel. In Honduras, authorities have announced that the nightly curfew between 22:00-05:00 will remain in place until September 19. Additionally, banks, supermarkets, and shops must operate at 50 percent capacity while bars, cinemas, gyms, and sports complexes will remain closed nationwide. In Peru, fact-to-face classes will begin for 16 educational centers across the capital of Lima on September 15.

Those operating or residing in the Americas on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures. 

 

Americas: Tropical Storm Nicholas to impact northwestern regions in Gulf of Mexico on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

According to Mexico’s Servicio Meteorologico Nacional (SMN) and the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Storm (TS) Nicholas has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to impact northeastern Mexico and southern-central Texas, USA, on September 13 and in the coming days. Forecast models indicate that Nicholas will track north along Mexico’s east coast, making a close approach to Brownsville, TX, USA, during the evening hours (local time) on September 13, before making landfall with near-hurricane conditions northeast of Corpus Christi, TX, during the early morning hours on September 14. Subsequently, the storm is forecast to weaken rapidly over land and curve northeastward, dissipating near the Texas-Louisiana border on September 17. Authorities have issued TS warnings for heavy rainfall, strong winds, landslides, and flash flooding from Barra El Mazquital, Tamaulipas in Mexico to the US-Mexico border, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Tabasco states in Mexico, coastal Texas from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass, western Louisiana, and southwestern Arkansas in the USA. Additional details regarding the development of TS Nicholas can be found here.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in the Americas on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of local authorities’ alerts regarding weather-related risks.

 

Argentina & Chile: 6.2-magnitude earthquake recorded 173 kilometers west of San Salvador de Jujuy on September 13; maintain vigilance

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has reported a 6.2-magnitude earthquake recorded 173 kilometers west of San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina at 02:18 (local time) near the border with Chile on September 13. No tsunami warning has been issued as of writing. Additionally, no damages to infrastructure or disruptions to services have been reported due to the earthquake.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in Argentina and Chile on September 13 are advised to remain cognizant of local updates regarding the risks of aftershocks.

 

USA: California to hold gubernatorial recall election statewide on September 14; allot for disruptions

California will witness a gubernatorial recall election on September 14, with eligible voters deciding whether or not to recall Governor Gavin Newsom and, if so, who will replace him. Voting centers will be open from 07:00 to 20:00 (local time). If over 50 percent of voters decide on Newsom’s recall, the candidate with a plurality of votes will become governor. Conservative radio host Larry Elder is currently leading in the polls to replace Newsom. The election is only the fourth gubernatorial recall election in US history.

Although Newsom is currently leading polling averages, the off-cycle election date and rarity of gubernatorial recall elections has created an increased sense of unpredictability pertaining to the result. In addition to having significant statewide implications, the election is liable to be seen as being a national indicator of party base mobilization in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections. Separately, although there are no major confirmed demonstrations on election day, there is a latent possibility of small protests around voting centers and government buildings throughout the day with disruptions possible.

Those operating or residing in California on September 14 are advised to allot for disruptions in the vicinity of voting centers and government buildings throughout the day due to the scheduled recall election.

 

Americas Notable Events

Argentina: FdT defeated in PASO elections as JxC obtains most seats in 18 of 24 provinces on September 12; reflects FdT’s declining support

The ruling left-wing coalition Frente de Todos (FdT) was defeated by the opposition right-wing coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) in the Primarias, Abiertas, Simultaneas y Obligatorias (PASO), the primary elections, held on September 12. JxC obtained the most seats in 18 of the 24 districts, including in traditional strongholds of the FdT such as Buenos Aires and Santa Cruz.

The results reflect the declining support for the FdT-led government and President Alberto Fernandez and indicate a notable public shift towards the right, likely due to the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of economic recovery plans to tackle high unemployment and inflation rates, and internal disputes within the ruling coalition. With the PASO elections constituting an electoral test for Fernandez ahead of the November mid-term elections, the upcoming vote is likely to record similar results. In such a scenario, the FdT would lose its simple majority in the Senate and be compelled to negotiate its policy agenda with the opposition. With that, Argentina’s political landscape is liable to remain volatile leading up to the 2023 general elections.

 

Colombia: Authorities seize over 2.4 tons of cocaine in San Andres Island on September 11; joint operations to continue going forward

Over 2.4 tons of cocaine were seized in San Andres, a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea, following a joint operation carried out by authorities of Colombia, Panama, and USA. Official sources indicated that the Clan del Golfo was responsible for what is known to be the largest seizure of cocaine in San Andres in 2021. As of writing, five people have been arrested by authorities.

Given that San Andres is considered a major transit point for cross-border drug trafficking, the above reflects the island’s significance to criminal groups involved in the trafficking of narcotics substances. With this, the drug bust highlights the growing incidence of illegal activities initiated by the Clan del Golfo in Colombia. The above is evidenced by the trafficking of 5.4 tons of cocaine by the group to the Colombian mainland in July. That Clan del Golfo is known to regulate drug smuggling shipments in coastal and border regions reiterates its role as a major player in the organized crime scene, especially in the Colombian mainland, but also in other South American countries.

 

Costa Rica & Nicaragua: Nicaraguan prominent activist shot at near San Jose on September 11; likely targeted for activism against Ortega

On September 11, Joao Maldonado, a leader of the Unidad de Exiliados Nicaraguense (UEN), a group of exiled Nicaraguan activists, was severely injured after being shot in his car by two individuals in Escazu, near San Jose. Maldonado was organizing a protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in San Jose on September 12. UEN officials claim that the attack was carried out by Ortega’s hitmen. Maldonado left Nicaragua after being charged for killing a prominent activist of Nicaragua’s ruling Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (FSLN) party in June 2018.

Given Maldonado’s criminal charges and activism against Ortega’s government, evident by his role in organizing anti-government protests in and outside of Nicaragua, Maldonado was likely targeted for his political activities. Considering recent attempts by Ortega’s government to clamp down on domestic dissent, the possibility of Nicaraguan officials being behind the attack cannot be ruled out. As such, the incident reflects attempts by the Nicaraguan government to crack down on dissenters in neighboring countries, with the latent threat posed to prominent activists and critics of Ortega in Costa Rica likely to persist.

 

Europe Actionable Items

Europe: Countries modify restrictions as COVID-19 vaccination drives continue on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

In Belgium, effective from September 17, travelers arriving from countries or regions marked as “very high risk” or “red” zones will be required to observe a 10-day quarantine period and undergo a PCR test on the first and the seventh day of their arrival. Information on the rules and exemptions can be found here. In Bulgaria, authorities have added Grenada, Serbia, and Suriname to the list of red zone countries, and Denmark, Italy, Malta, and Spain will be placed in the green zone, as of September 15. In France, the COVID-19 health pass for minors under the age of 18 will come into effect on September 30. In Portugal, authorities have suspended the mask mandate for outdoor public places. However, the mask mandate remains in effect for closed public spaces such as stores, state offices, classrooms, and public transport. In Switzerland, authorities have introduced the COVID-19 health pass for access to restaurants, bars, museums, concert halls, and theaters. The pass will be issued to individuals who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID-19, or have tested negative.

Those operating or residing in Europe on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Germany: Disruptions on multiple S-Bahn, U-Bahn routes in Berlin expected due to construction beginning September 13; allot for disruptions

Due to planned construction, the Nordring of the Ringbahn in Berlin will be closed for a week beginning September 13. As such, the S-Bahn’s rail services between Westend and Gesundbrunnen will be closed from 04:00 (local time) on September 13 to 01:30 on September 20. Replacement buses will be available, with details available here (in German). Additionally, there will be multiple disruptions to Berlin’s underground rail service, the U-Bahn, through November. The U2 line will not run between Gleisdreieck and Wittenbergplatz between 22:00 on Sundays and 00:30 on Thursdays until November 19. The U3 line in the direction of Warschauer Street will not stop at Augsburger Street until September 20. Moreover, the U6 line will not run between Tempelhof and Alt-Mariendorf until October 8 due to construction. The Rathaus Schoneberg underground station on the U4 line will also remain closed due to construction until April 2022.

Those operating or residing in Berlin on September 13 and in the coming weeks are advised to allot for disruptions to train services and reconfirm itineraries.

 

Italy: Protest by CGIL trade union to take place at Arco Della Pace at 10:00 (local time) in Milan on September 14; allot for disruptions

According to reports, a protest is slated to take place at Arco della Pace at 10:00 (local time) in Milan on September 14. The rally is organized by the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) trade union to call for cohesion and social justice.

Based on the mobilization capacity of the union involved, the protest is expected to witness a turnout in the low-to-mid hundreds. Despite heightened anti-government sentiments among workers’ unions, the rally is expected to transpire largely peacefully, given the nature of the protest. Nonetheless, the potential for isolated scuffles remains. As such, a bolstered security presence can be expected in the vicinity of the slated protest locations to monitor proceedings, as well as ensure compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be expected in the vicinity of Arco della Pace from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Milan on September 14 are advised to allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of Arco della Pace from the morning hours onwards due to the planned protest.

 

Poland: Protests by healthcare workers continue outside Chancellery of PM in Warsaw as of September 13; maintain vigilance

Reports indicate that protests by healthcare workers continue outside the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Warsaw as of September 13. Around 30,000 healthcare workers carried out a large-scale demonstration on September 11 in Warsaw to demand better pay and working conditions. Protesters have since then camped outside the Chancellery. Health workers have announced intentions to continue their protest indefinitely. The government had previously rejected the demands in a meeting with union leaders on September 10.

A varying turnout in the mid-to-high hundreds is expected throughout the day at the protest camp. Significant disruptions to health care services, particularly in Warsaw, are likely in the event the protest is prolonged, with several health workers announcing strikes in support of the demonstration. Given the heightened sentiments over the issue, the demonstration carries a potential for unrest, with clashes between protesters and the police liable. A bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed in the vicinity of the protest site to monitor proceedings. Significant disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic are anticipated outside the Chancellery of the PM.

Those operating or residing in Warsaw on September 13 and the coming days are advised to maintain vigilance and allot for disruptions to travel outside the Chancellery of the PM due to the above-slated protest action.

 

Spain: Multiple protests slated to take place in Madrid between September 13-15; allot for disruptions

Four protests will reportedly be held in Madrid between September 13-15. On September 13, a protest is planned at Plaza de las Cortes at 12:00 (local time) to demand a public system of guaranteed pensions. On September 14, a protest against the increase in electricity prices is planned at Plaza de las Cortes at 18:30. On September 15, a protest is planned at P. de la Infanta Isabel 1 at 10:00 to demand an agricultural policy for farmers. Further, on September 15, a protest is planned at Plaza de las Cortes at 11:30 to demand a public system of guaranteed pensions.

Based on organizers’ estimates, the demonstrations are expected to witness turnouts ranging in the low-to-mid hundreds each. Given the nature of the protest issues, the demonstrations are expected to transpire largely peacefully, although the potential for isolated scuffles remains. As such, a bolstered security presence can be expected in the vicinity of the protest locations to monitor proceedings and ensure compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Traffic disruptions can be expected from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Madrid between September 13-15 are advised to allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the aforementioned locations during the slated timing due to the planned protests.

 

Spain: Thousands evacuated as wildfires continue in Costa del Sol, Andalusia as of September 13; remain cognizant of updates

Reports indicate that around 2,000 people have been evacuated from six towns and villages as wildfires continue in the Costa del Sol municipality in Andalusia as of September 13. The forest fires have been burning for over five days and have burned over 7,400 hectares of land as of writing. Military units have been deployed in the region to assist with firefighting operations. Emergency crews evacuated people from the towns and villages of Alpandeire, Farajan, Jubrique, Juzcar, and Pujerra on September 12. Preventive evacuations have been ordered in the towns of Genalguacil and Jubrique. Over 365 firefighters, supported by 41 aircraft, are currently engaged in the operations to contain the fire which has been advancing in multiple directions, propelled by strong winds and high temperatures.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in Spain on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of local updates regarding forest fires and allot for disruptions to travel and services.

 

UK: Protests planned on September 14-16 around ExCel Centre in London against arms fair; maintain vigilance 

Various groups intend to protest against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair being held at the ExCel Centre in east London, with the main demonstrations planned on September 14 and 16. On September 14, protesters will gather at ExCel Centre West from 08:00-22:00 (local time). Additionally, participants will march from Stratford Station to ExCel Centre from 11:00-13:00.

Based on previous demonstrations on the issue, attendance for the various protests is likely to be in the mid-to-high hundreds, with the march from Stratford Station liable to witness increased turnout in the low thousands. Demonstrators are likely to deliberately block access to the ExCel Centre’s various entrances and routes in the area, leading to significant disruptions in the area. While they are unlikely to physically abuse or harass those in the area or fair attendees, scuffles and clashes with police are possible, including arrests, as well as verbal abuse or intimidation towards attendees. The other vigils around the area may lead to small-scale disruptions throughout the week but are unlikely to be on the scale of the abovementioned events.

Those operating or residing in London on September 14-16 are advised to maintain vigilance and allot for travel disruptions in the vicinity of the ExCel Centre. 

 

Europe Notable Events

Czech Republic & Russia: Russian national detained at PRG for involvement in Crimean annexation on September 12; tensions to increase

On September 12, Aleksandr Franchetti, a Russian national was reportedly detained at Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport (PRG) for his alleged involvement in the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. Ukrainian officials are now seeking Franchetti’s deportation with the help of the Czech authorities. Meanwhile, Moscow has reportedly ordered an investigation into the arrest on grounds of violation of international law, claiming that the individual faced “certain death” at the hands of Ukraine.

Given the already strained relations between the Czech Republic and Russia, with Prague accusing the latter of carrying out the 2014 Vrbetice explosions, the incident is likely to further exacerbate bilateral tensions between the two in the near term. That the detention was carried out by Czech officials on the behest of an arrest warrant issued by Ukraine, is likely to prompt Russia to claim that it was “politically motivated.” With this, based on precedent, Moscow is additionally liable to summon and potentially resort to diplomatic expulsions targeting Czech ambassadors as a reciprocal measure, with a possible tit-for-tat move by Prague moving forward.

 

Germany: Bundeswehr reservists suspected of far-right activity, per September 10 report; highlights presence of far-right in military

According to September 10 reports, the prosecutor’s office in Luneburg, Lower Saxony, is investigating nine individuals, including six Bundeswehr reservists, over allegedly forming a right-wing extremist group. The investigation follows raids carried out in Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Lower Saxony, during which authorities recovered weapons and ammunition as well as right-wing extremist material. Details on the locations of the raids and the suspects have not been released by authorities as of writing.

The incident reiterates the increasing presence of far-right extremism among Germany’s armed forces in recent years, as evidenced by 843 cases of suspected far-right extremism among the armed forces recorded in 2020, compared to 592 cases in 2019. Considering the recent dismantling of the Frankfurt police’s Spezialeinsatzkommando in June and the temporary dismantling of the Kommando Spezialkrafte, the military’s elite force, in 2020 due to far-right incidents, calls for organizational restructuring among police and the military are expected to increase in the near term. Moreover, authorities are liable to carry out similar raids and related investigations in multiple federal states in the coming weeks.

 

Ukraine: Explosive attack recorded at oil depot in Kirovsky, Donetsk on September 11; indicates threat to critical infrastructure facilities

An explosive device was reportedly dropped by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on an oil depot in Kirovsky, Donetsk on September 11. The President of the Russia-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, called the explosion a militant attack, while the First Deputy Information Minister Daniil Beznosov announced that Ukrainian drones were spotted in the vicinity on September 11. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission allegedly refused to record the consequences of the explosion over “security concerns.”

The explosion highlights the credible security threat posed to key infrastructure facilities, including gas pipelines and oil depots in conflict zones of Crimea and Donbas, as evidenced by an explosive attack on a pipeline in Crimea on August 23. Additionally, given the OSCE’s denial to record the consequences of the explosion, Western countries are also likely to be criticized for its alleged bias against the DPR. With the DPR accusing Kyiv of perpetrating the attack, the incident is likely to briefly intensify tensions between Russian and Ukraine, with similar accusatory claims liable to persist moving forward.

 

Notable Dates

September 14     

  • Nicaragua: San Jacinto Day     

  

September 15     

  • El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua: Independence Day     
  • Slovakia: Virgin Mary of the Seven Sorrows Day     

     

September 16     

  • Mexico: Independence Day     
  • Nicaragua: Public Sector Holiday     
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis: National Heroes’ Day     

     

September 17     

  • Chile: Fiestas Patrias     
  • Italy: Transportation Strike     
  • Nicaragua: Public Sector Holiday     
  • UK: RMT strike     

    

September 18     

  • Chile: Independence Day     
  • Ireland: Protest in Dublin     
  • Nicaragua: Public Sector Holiday     
  • UK: Nationwide Freedom Rally     

     

September 19     

  • Chile: Army Day     
  • Ukraine: Pride in Kyiv     

      

September 20     

  • Canada: Parliamentary Elections     
  • St. Kitts & Nevis: Independence Day Holiday    

      

September 21    

  • Belize: Independence Day    
  • Malta: Independence Day   

     

September 22   

  • Bulgaria: Independence Day

 

September 24 

  • Dominican Republic: Lady of Mercedes Day
  • Italy: Air Transportation Strike
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Republic Day

 

The following report reviews current events in the Europe and the Americas region and their possible effect on business continuity and security. 

Highlights of the Day

Americas

  • Americas: Tropical Storm Nicholas to impact northwestern regions in Gulf of Mexico on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates
  • Argentina: FdT defeated in PASO elections as JxC obtains most seats in 18 of 24 provinces on September 12; reflects FdT’s declining support
  • Costa Rica & Nicaragua: Nicaraguan prominent activist shot at near San Jose on September 11; likely targeted for activism against Ortega

Europe

  • Europe: Countries modify restrictions as COVID-19 vaccination drives continue on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates
  • Germany: Bundeswehr reservists suspected of far-right activity, per September 10 report; highlights presence of far-right in military
  • Ukraine: Explosive attack recorded at oil depot in Kirovsky, Donetsk on September 11; indicates threat to critical infrastructure facilities

 

Americas Actionable Items

Americas: Countries amend restrictions as immunization drives against COVID-19 continue on September 13; remain cognizant of updates

In Cuba, effective from November 15, all individuals traveling to the country will be required to present either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival. In Ecuador, President Guillermo Lasso announced that individuals between 12-15 years of age will receive vaccination against COVID-19 starting September 13. Additionally, individuals who wish to transit through Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO) or Guayaquil’s Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) before traveling to the Galapagos Islands will be required to present either of the following documents: a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result taken no longer than 72 hours prior to travel. In Honduras, authorities have announced that the nightly curfew between 22:00-05:00 will remain in place until September 19. Additionally, banks, supermarkets, and shops must operate at 50 percent capacity while bars, cinemas, gyms, and sports complexes will remain closed nationwide. In Peru, fact-to-face classes will begin for 16 educational centers across the capital of Lima on September 15.

Those operating or residing in the Americas on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures. 

 

Americas: Tropical Storm Nicholas to impact northwestern regions in Gulf of Mexico on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

According to Mexico’s Servicio Meteorologico Nacional (SMN) and the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Storm (TS) Nicholas has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to impact northeastern Mexico and southern-central Texas, USA, on September 13 and in the coming days. Forecast models indicate that Nicholas will track north along Mexico’s east coast, making a close approach to Brownsville, TX, USA, during the evening hours (local time) on September 13, before making landfall with near-hurricane conditions northeast of Corpus Christi, TX, during the early morning hours on September 14. Subsequently, the storm is forecast to weaken rapidly over land and curve northeastward, dissipating near the Texas-Louisiana border on September 17. Authorities have issued TS warnings for heavy rainfall, strong winds, landslides, and flash flooding from Barra El Mazquital, Tamaulipas in Mexico to the US-Mexico border, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Tabasco states in Mexico, coastal Texas from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass, western Louisiana, and southwestern Arkansas in the USA. Additional details regarding the development of TS Nicholas can be found here.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in the Americas on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of local authorities’ alerts regarding weather-related risks.

 

Argentina & Chile: 6.2-magnitude earthquake recorded 173 kilometers west of San Salvador de Jujuy on September 13; maintain vigilance

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has reported a 6.2-magnitude earthquake recorded 173 kilometers west of San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina at 02:18 (local time) near the border with Chile on September 13. No tsunami warning has been issued as of writing. Additionally, no damages to infrastructure or disruptions to services have been reported due to the earthquake.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in Argentina and Chile on September 13 are advised to remain cognizant of local updates regarding the risks of aftershocks.

 

USA: California to hold gubernatorial recall election statewide on September 14; allot for disruptions

California will witness a gubernatorial recall election on September 14, with eligible voters deciding whether or not to recall Governor Gavin Newsom and, if so, who will replace him. Voting centers will be open from 07:00 to 20:00 (local time). If over 50 percent of voters decide on Newsom’s recall, the candidate with a plurality of votes will become governor. Conservative radio host Larry Elder is currently leading in the polls to replace Newsom. The election is only the fourth gubernatorial recall election in US history.

Although Newsom is currently leading polling averages, the off-cycle election date and rarity of gubernatorial recall elections has created an increased sense of unpredictability pertaining to the result. In addition to having significant statewide implications, the election is liable to be seen as being a national indicator of party base mobilization in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections. Separately, although there are no major confirmed demonstrations on election day, there is a latent possibility of small protests around voting centers and government buildings throughout the day with disruptions possible.

Those operating or residing in California on September 14 are advised to allot for disruptions in the vicinity of voting centers and government buildings throughout the day due to the scheduled recall election.

 

Americas Notable Events

Argentina: FdT defeated in PASO elections as JxC obtains most seats in 18 of 24 provinces on September 12; reflects FdT’s declining support

The ruling left-wing coalition Frente de Todos (FdT) was defeated by the opposition right-wing coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) in the Primarias, Abiertas, Simultaneas y Obligatorias (PASO), the primary elections, held on September 12. JxC obtained the most seats in 18 of the 24 districts, including in traditional strongholds of the FdT such as Buenos Aires and Santa Cruz.

The results reflect the declining support for the FdT-led government and President Alberto Fernandez and indicate a notable public shift towards the right, likely due to the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of economic recovery plans to tackle high unemployment and inflation rates, and internal disputes within the ruling coalition. With the PASO elections constituting an electoral test for Fernandez ahead of the November mid-term elections, the upcoming vote is likely to record similar results. In such a scenario, the FdT would lose its simple majority in the Senate and be compelled to negotiate its policy agenda with the opposition. With that, Argentina’s political landscape is liable to remain volatile leading up to the 2023 general elections.

 

Colombia: Authorities seize over 2.4 tons of cocaine in San Andres Island on September 11; joint operations to continue going forward

Over 2.4 tons of cocaine were seized in San Andres, a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea, following a joint operation carried out by authorities of Colombia, Panama, and USA. Official sources indicated that the Clan del Golfo was responsible for what is known to be the largest seizure of cocaine in San Andres in 2021. As of writing, five people have been arrested by authorities.

Given that San Andres is considered a major transit point for cross-border drug trafficking, the above reflects the island’s significance to criminal groups involved in the trafficking of narcotics substances. With this, the drug bust highlights the growing incidence of illegal activities initiated by the Clan del Golfo in Colombia. The above is evidenced by the trafficking of 5.4 tons of cocaine by the group to the Colombian mainland in July. That Clan del Golfo is known to regulate drug smuggling shipments in coastal and border regions reiterates its role as a major player in the organized crime scene, especially in the Colombian mainland, but also in other South American countries.

 

Costa Rica & Nicaragua: Nicaraguan prominent activist shot at near San Jose on September 11; likely targeted for activism against Ortega

On September 11, Joao Maldonado, a leader of the Unidad de Exiliados Nicaraguense (UEN), a group of exiled Nicaraguan activists, was severely injured after being shot in his car by two individuals in Escazu, near San Jose. Maldonado was organizing a protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in San Jose on September 12. UEN officials claim that the attack was carried out by Ortega’s hitmen. Maldonado left Nicaragua after being charged for killing a prominent activist of Nicaragua’s ruling Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (FSLN) party in June 2018.

Given Maldonado’s criminal charges and activism against Ortega’s government, evident by his role in organizing anti-government protests in and outside of Nicaragua, Maldonado was likely targeted for his political activities. Considering recent attempts by Ortega’s government to clamp down on domestic dissent, the possibility of Nicaraguan officials being behind the attack cannot be ruled out. As such, the incident reflects attempts by the Nicaraguan government to crack down on dissenters in neighboring countries, with the latent threat posed to prominent activists and critics of Ortega in Costa Rica likely to persist.

 

Europe Actionable Items

Europe: Countries modify restrictions as COVID-19 vaccination drives continue on September 13; remain cognizant of authorities’ updates

In Belgium, effective from September 17, travelers arriving from countries or regions marked as “very high risk” or “red” zones will be required to observe a 10-day quarantine period and undergo a PCR test on the first and the seventh day of their arrival. Information on the rules and exemptions can be found here. In Bulgaria, authorities have added Grenada, Serbia, and Suriname to the list of red zone countries, and Denmark, Italy, Malta, and Spain will be placed in the green zone, as of September 15. In France, the COVID-19 health pass for minors under the age of 18 will come into effect on September 30. In Portugal, authorities have suspended the mask mandate for outdoor public places. However, the mask mandate remains in effect for closed public spaces such as stores, state offices, classrooms, and public transport. In Switzerland, authorities have introduced the COVID-19 health pass for access to restaurants, bars, museums, concert halls, and theaters. The pass will be issued to individuals who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID-19, or have tested negative.

Those operating or residing in Europe on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of authorities’ instructions regarding quarantines and health procedures.

 

Germany: Disruptions on multiple S-Bahn, U-Bahn routes in Berlin expected due to construction beginning September 13; allot for disruptions

Due to planned construction, the Nordring of the Ringbahn in Berlin will be closed for a week beginning September 13. As such, the S-Bahn’s rail services between Westend and Gesundbrunnen will be closed from 04:00 (local time) on September 13 to 01:30 on September 20. Replacement buses will be available, with details available here (in German). Additionally, there will be multiple disruptions to Berlin’s underground rail service, the U-Bahn, through November. The U2 line will not run between Gleisdreieck and Wittenbergplatz between 22:00 on Sundays and 00:30 on Thursdays until November 19. The U3 line in the direction of Warschauer Street will not stop at Augsburger Street until September 20. Moreover, the U6 line will not run between Tempelhof and Alt-Mariendorf until October 8 due to construction. The Rathaus Schoneberg underground station on the U4 line will also remain closed due to construction until April 2022.

Those operating or residing in Berlin on September 13 and in the coming weeks are advised to allot for disruptions to train services and reconfirm itineraries.

 

Italy: Protest by CGIL trade union to take place at Arco Della Pace at 10:00 (local time) in Milan on September 14; allot for disruptions

According to reports, a protest is slated to take place at Arco della Pace at 10:00 (local time) in Milan on September 14. The rally is organized by the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) trade union to call for cohesion and social justice.

Based on the mobilization capacity of the union involved, the protest is expected to witness a turnout in the low-to-mid hundreds. Despite heightened anti-government sentiments among workers’ unions, the rally is expected to transpire largely peacefully, given the nature of the protest. Nonetheless, the potential for isolated scuffles remains. As such, a bolstered security presence can be expected in the vicinity of the slated protest locations to monitor proceedings, as well as ensure compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic can be expected in the vicinity of Arco della Pace from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Milan on September 14 are advised to allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of Arco della Pace from the morning hours onwards due to the planned protest.

 

Poland: Protests by healthcare workers continue outside Chancellery of PM in Warsaw as of September 13; maintain vigilance

Reports indicate that protests by healthcare workers continue outside the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Warsaw as of September 13. Around 30,000 healthcare workers carried out a large-scale demonstration on September 11 in Warsaw to demand better pay and working conditions. Protesters have since then camped outside the Chancellery. Health workers have announced intentions to continue their protest indefinitely. The government had previously rejected the demands in a meeting with union leaders on September 10.

A varying turnout in the mid-to-high hundreds is expected throughout the day at the protest camp. Significant disruptions to health care services, particularly in Warsaw, are likely in the event the protest is prolonged, with several health workers announcing strikes in support of the demonstration. Given the heightened sentiments over the issue, the demonstration carries a potential for unrest, with clashes between protesters and the police liable. A bolstered security presence is expected to be deployed in the vicinity of the protest site to monitor proceedings. Significant disruptions to pedestrian and vehicular traffic are anticipated outside the Chancellery of the PM.

Those operating or residing in Warsaw on September 13 and the coming days are advised to maintain vigilance and allot for disruptions to travel outside the Chancellery of the PM due to the above-slated protest action.

 

Spain: Multiple protests slated to take place in Madrid between September 13-15; allot for disruptions

Four protests will reportedly be held in Madrid between September 13-15. On September 13, a protest is planned at Plaza de las Cortes at 12:00 (local time) to demand a public system of guaranteed pensions. On September 14, a protest against the increase in electricity prices is planned at Plaza de las Cortes at 18:30. On September 15, a protest is planned at P. de la Infanta Isabel 1 at 10:00 to demand an agricultural policy for farmers. Further, on September 15, a protest is planned at Plaza de las Cortes at 11:30 to demand a public system of guaranteed pensions.

Based on organizers’ estimates, the demonstrations are expected to witness turnouts ranging in the low-to-mid hundreds each. Given the nature of the protest issues, the demonstrations are expected to transpire largely peacefully, although the potential for isolated scuffles remains. As such, a bolstered security presence can be expected in the vicinity of the protest locations to monitor proceedings and ensure compliance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Traffic disruptions can be expected from the morning hours onwards.

Those operating or residing in Madrid between September 13-15 are advised to allot for disruptions to travel in the vicinity of the aforementioned locations during the slated timing due to the planned protests.

 

Spain: Thousands evacuated as wildfires continue in Costa del Sol, Andalusia as of September 13; remain cognizant of updates

Reports indicate that around 2,000 people have been evacuated from six towns and villages as wildfires continue in the Costa del Sol municipality in Andalusia as of September 13. The forest fires have been burning for over five days and have burned over 7,400 hectares of land as of writing. Military units have been deployed in the region to assist with firefighting operations. Emergency crews evacuated people from the towns and villages of Alpandeire, Farajan, Jubrique, Juzcar, and Pujerra on September 12. Preventive evacuations have been ordered in the towns of Genalguacil and Jubrique. Over 365 firefighters, supported by 41 aircraft, are currently engaged in the operations to contain the fire which has been advancing in multiple directions, propelled by strong winds and high temperatures.

Those operating or residing in the aforementioned regions in Spain on September 13 and the coming days are advised to remain cognizant of local updates regarding forest fires and allot for disruptions to travel and services.

 

UK: Protests planned on September 14-16 around ExCel Centre in London against arms fair; maintain vigilance 

Various groups intend to protest against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair being held at the ExCel Centre in east London, with the main demonstrations planned on September 14 and 16. On September 14, protesters will gather at ExCel Centre West from 08:00-22:00 (local time). Additionally, participants will march from Stratford Station to ExCel Centre from 11:00-13:00.

Based on previous demonstrations on the issue, attendance for the various protests is likely to be in the mid-to-high hundreds, with the march from Stratford Station liable to witness increased turnout in the low thousands. Demonstrators are likely to deliberately block access to the ExCel Centre’s various entrances and routes in the area, leading to significant disruptions in the area. While they are unlikely to physically abuse or harass those in the area or fair attendees, scuffles and clashes with police are possible, including arrests, as well as verbal abuse or intimidation towards attendees. The other vigils around the area may lead to small-scale disruptions throughout the week but are unlikely to be on the scale of the abovementioned events.

Those operating or residing in London on September 14-16 are advised to maintain vigilance and allot for travel disruptions in the vicinity of the ExCel Centre. 

 

Europe Notable Events

Czech Republic & Russia: Russian national detained at PRG for involvement in Crimean annexation on September 12; tensions to increase

On September 12, Aleksandr Franchetti, a Russian national was reportedly detained at Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport (PRG) for his alleged involvement in the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. Ukrainian officials are now seeking Franchetti’s deportation with the help of the Czech authorities. Meanwhile, Moscow has reportedly ordered an investigation into the arrest on grounds of violation of international law, claiming that the individual faced “certain death” at the hands of Ukraine.

Given the already strained relations between the Czech Republic and Russia, with Prague accusing the latter of carrying out the 2014 Vrbetice explosions, the incident is likely to further exacerbate bilateral tensions between the two in the near term. That the detention was carried out by Czech officials on the behest of an arrest warrant issued by Ukraine, is likely to prompt Russia to claim that it was “politically motivated.” With this, based on precedent, Moscow is additionally liable to summon and potentially resort to diplomatic expulsions targeting Czech ambassadors as a reciprocal measure, with a possible tit-for-tat move by Prague moving forward.

 

Germany: Bundeswehr reservists suspected of far-right activity, per September 10 report; highlights presence of far-right in military

According to September 10 reports, the prosecutor’s office in Luneburg, Lower Saxony, is investigating nine individuals, including six Bundeswehr reservists, over allegedly forming a right-wing extremist group. The investigation follows raids carried out in Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Lower Saxony, during which authorities recovered weapons and ammunition as well as right-wing extremist material. Details on the locations of the raids and the suspects have not been released by authorities as of writing.

The incident reiterates the increasing presence of far-right extremism among Germany’s armed forces in recent years, as evidenced by 843 cases of suspected far-right extremism among the armed forces recorded in 2020, compared to 592 cases in 2019. Considering the recent dismantling of the Frankfurt police’s Spezialeinsatzkommando in June and the temporary dismantling of the Kommando Spezialkrafte, the military’s elite force, in 2020 due to far-right incidents, calls for organizational restructuring among police and the military are expected to increase in the near term. Moreover, authorities are liable to carry out similar raids and related investigations in multiple federal states in the coming weeks.

 

Ukraine: Explosive attack recorded at oil depot in Kirovsky, Donetsk on September 11; indicates threat to critical infrastructure facilities

An explosive device was reportedly dropped by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on an oil depot in Kirovsky, Donetsk on September 11. The President of the Russia-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, called the explosion a militant attack, while the First Deputy Information Minister Daniil Beznosov announced that Ukrainian drones were spotted in the vicinity on September 11. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission allegedly refused to record the consequences of the explosion over “security concerns.”

The explosion highlights the credible security threat posed to key infrastructure facilities, including gas pipelines and oil depots in conflict zones of Crimea and Donbas, as evidenced by an explosive attack on a pipeline in Crimea on August 23. Additionally, given the OSCE’s denial to record the consequences of the explosion, Western countries are also likely to be criticized for its alleged bias against the DPR. With the DPR accusing Kyiv of perpetrating the attack, the incident is likely to briefly intensify tensions between Russian and Ukraine, with similar accusatory claims liable to persist moving forward.

 

Notable Dates

September 14     

  • Nicaragua: San Jacinto Day     

  

September 15     

  • El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua: Independence Day     
  • Slovakia: Virgin Mary of the Seven Sorrows Day     

     

September 16     

  • Mexico: Independence Day     
  • Nicaragua: Public Sector Holiday     
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis: National Heroes’ Day     

     

September 17     

  • Chile: Fiestas Patrias     
  • Italy: Transportation Strike     
  • Nicaragua: Public Sector Holiday     
  • UK: RMT strike     

    

September 18     

  • Chile: Independence Day     
  • Ireland: Protest in Dublin     
  • Nicaragua: Public Sector Holiday     
  • UK: Nationwide Freedom Rally     

     

September 19     

  • Chile: Army Day     
  • Ukraine: Pride in Kyiv     

      

September 20     

  • Canada: Parliamentary Elections     
  • St. Kitts & Nevis: Independence Day Holiday    

      

September 21    

  • Belize: Independence Day    
  • Malta: Independence Day   

     

September 22   

  • Bulgaria: Independence Day

 

September 24 

  • Dominican Republic: Lady of Mercedes Day
  • Italy: Air Transportation Strike
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Republic Day

 

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What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.