Today in Latin America
Top Story — Fernando Lugo is feeling optimistic that he can serve his full term as president of Paraguay, after finishing his first session of treatment for cancer.
Lugo said that his illness was both “controllable and reversable” at a speech on Saturday. He gave the speech upon his return from São Paulo in neighboring Brazil, where he began chemotherapy last week.
Neither the illness nor its treatment will “impede the progress of the government’s agenda,” Lugo added.
Lugo was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will undergo five more chemotherapy sessions, according to The Associated Press. The AP reported last week that Harvard University researchers believe his cancer is of low malignancy.
Lugo also addressed the Fourth Americas Social Forum on Saturday, where he said that Paraguay would continue to seek justice for the coup in Honduras that ousted the elected government of Manuel Zelaya last year.
“The coup in Honduras taught us that our processes are never sufficiently consolidated,” Lugo said, referring to the trend of democratization in Latin America. “That’s why we must remain alert. The enemies of democracy and change will keep posing threats to the happiness of our people,” he added.
On Sunday, Lugo met with the presidents of Bolivia and Uruguay to discuss energy integration. At the meeting, Uruguayan President José Mujica expressed an interest in establishing a deep-water port for landlocked Paraguay, according to Uruguayan daily El País.
The meeting marked the revamping of the long ignored “Urupabol,” a coalition between the three countries originally established in the 1960s.
Spanish speakers can view the speech Lugo gave upon arriving in Asunción after his first chemotherapy treatment in the video below.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- As politicians debate the possibility of changing the 14th amendment, which guarantees citizenship to all those born in this country, the Pew Hispanic Center releases figures detailing the number of children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Twenty-three people were killed over the weekend in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, attributed to the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels.
- A bomb exploded outside Mexico’s largest television station, Televisa, on Sunday in the city of Monterrey, injuring two people.
- Tea Party activists rallied a crowd of 400 people to the U.S.-Mexico border to show support for Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
- A new batch of six Cuban political prisoners is ready to be released and sent to Spain, friends and family said Sunday.
- A reinvigorated Fidel Castro marked his 84th birthday Friday after a recent return to the Cuban spotlight, insisting he remained true to the ideals of the revolution that brought him to power half a century ago.
- Hip hop artist and presidential hopeful Wyclef Jean said Saturday that as leader he would work to change Haiti’s constitution to allow dual citizenship and give many Haitians living abroad the right to vote in their homeland.
- A former prison director from Guatemala wanted for his role in extra-judicial killings during a 2006 prison riot surrendered to police Friday.
- The Archbishop of San Salvador, José Luis Escobar Alas, condemned violent killings in the country four days after a 6 year-old girl was found decapitated.
- Colombia’s vice president, Argelino Garzón, who was hospitalized during his third day on the job, has been released by doctors after undergoing heart bypass surgery.
- Florida Republicans urged their colleagues to approve a trade deal with Colombia and declare Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism on Friday.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Sunday commemorated the sixth anniversary of a failed referendum to remove him from office.
- A Peruvian prosecutor said Friday he will ask a court to revoke the parole of American activist Lori Berenson and send her back to prison to finish her 20-year sentence for aiding leftist rebels.
- Bolivia’s government and protest leaders said on Sunday they were close to a deal to end demonstrations that forced the closure of two of the world’s top silver deposits.
- Chilean rescue workers said Sunday that they were close to reaching the 33 miners stranded underground since August 5.
- The presidents of Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay signed an agreement to coordinate energy plans for the countries’ Urupabol trade bloc.
- The construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil’s Amazon region will start next year, displacing residents in the surrounding area of Altamira.
- A majority of university students in Chile are now women, according to a study by the Education Ministry.
- Chile’s LAN airlines will buy out Brazilian airline TAM to create a combined company called the LATAM airlines group.
Image: Fernando Lugo APC @ Flickr.