Today in Latin America
Top Story — Dilma Rousseff of the governing Workers Party was elected as Brazil’s first female president on Sunday, defeating opposition candidate José Serra in a second-round election.
With 99 percent of the votes counted on Sunday evening, Rousseff had received 56 percent of the vote, with Serra trailing at 44.3 percent, according to Reuters.
“Starting tomorrow, a new stage of democracy begins,” Rousseff told reporters early on Sunday.
The election results were unsurprising. The handpicked successor and former chief of staff for current President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva had garnered the majority of votes in the first-round election on Oct. 3 and has enjoyed a comfortable lead over Serra in polls taken since.
And though Rousseff viewed her electoral triumph as a new stage of democracy, analysts tend to view it as a vote for a continuation of the policies of President da Silva, who has was first elected in 2002 and has served two terms as president. Da Silva is credited with bringing 20 million people out of poverty, according to Reuters, while simultaneously presiding over healthy economic growth.
“My mission is to eradicate poverty,” Rousseff said after the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared her the winner of the election, CNN reports.
Rousseff also highlighted the significance of her election as step forward for women in what is often regarded as a sexist society, saying “I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say, yes women can,” she said.
Indeed, one of the hallmarks of da Silva’s presidency has been his ability to balance the interests of his leftwing constituency and more conservative business interests.
Da Silva’s election in 2002 brought with it financial panic. In contrast, Brazil’s stock market, bonds and currency posted gains in the lead up to Rousseff’s election Sunday, according to Reuters.
Portuguese speakers can see brief clips of Rousseff speaking to reporters on Sunday from this newscast by Folha do Sul.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala outlined his nationalist program on Thursday in New York, saying it would transform Peru from a mineral exporting country to an industrialized country that privileges the internal market.
- Hispanic voices are becoming more influential as the mid-term elections approach, reports Von Diaz.
- With the nation’s toughest state immigration law, Arizona has taken center stage in the national debate about immigration as the midterm elections approach. Molly O’Toole reports from Arizona in a three-part series.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Nevada’s Democratic senator Harry Reid plans to bring legislation that would create a path for some undocumented immigrants to gain legal status to a vote in the post-election session of Congress.
- The burned body of a missing Canadian man was found in the trunk of his rental car in Mexico, Canadian officials said Sunday.
- At least six people were killed and a dozen others injured when an illegal fireworks factory exploded in the eastern section of Mexico City, officials said.
- Cuba won its third straight title in the Intercontinental Baseball Cup Sunday, beating the Netherlands 4-1.
- The Haitian government sent out alerts over the weekend, warning people of the chances of dangerous landslides that could occur due to the approaching Hurricane Tomas.
- At least 14 people were killed and several others wounded when gunmen opened fire on a group of people playing a soccer match in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
- A Guatemalan judge approved a request for the extradition from Spain of former Government Minister Carlos Vielman, accused of being a member of a criminal organization.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez ordered the expropriation of the country’s largest privately owned steel producer, Siderurgica del Turbio SA.
- Peruvian’s are upset at a comment about the country made on the ABC sitcom “Modern Family”, with the head of the Peruvian People’s Defender’s Office saying she plans to discuss the matter with the U.S. ambassador.
- Bolivia said it was interested in purchasing Iranian-made airplanes and helicopters for military training and transportation.
- The death of former President Néstor Kirchner creates “great uncertainty” in Argentina’s economy, the World Bank said.
- The 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for nearly 70 days played a soccer game with President Sebastian Piñera and a group of rescue workers.
Image: Agéncia Brasil @ Wikipedia.