Today in Latin America
Top Story — A pop star and not a member of the country’s ruling party should advance to Haiti’s presidential run-off, according to an international panel of election experts headed by the Organization of American States (OAS).
The recommendation from the group said its verification showed that musician Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly had 22.2 percent of the vote while Jude Célestin, the government candidate, received 21.9 percent. The result would reverse the preliminary tally and put Martelly in a runoff with former first lady Mirlande Manigat, who received 31.6 percent.
Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council said on Monday that it had not yet received the final OAS report and during a press conference, outgoing President René Préval also indicated that he had not seen the report.
“I have nothing to say about the (OAS) recommendations because I have not read them,” Preval said, according to Reuters. “I don’t have them in my hands.”
The report also stated that while 50,935 votes had to be discarded because of fraud, the disputed Nov. 28 presidential elections could be salvaged.
“I think we should give the Haitian authorities some time. But that doesn’t mean infinite. We should keep in mind we have an urgency here, to bring clarity to the situation,” said Albert Ramdin, the OAS assistant secretary-general, according to Al Jazeera.
After the contested November elections, widespread rioting broke out while the country was in the middle of a cholera outbreak and struggling to rebuild after last year’s earthquake.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- With Chile’s 33 trapped miners safe and sound, President Sebastián Piñera now struggles to retain his popularity. Latin America News Dispatch contributor Patrick Burns reports.
- Contributor Romeo Guzman recounts the celebrations of the birth of the Virgen de Guadalupe last month in New York City.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The death toll for a December 19 gas pipeline explosion in Mexico rose to 30, after a police officer who was hurt succumbed to his injuries.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch named Monday Tito Vidaurri as the bank’s country executive for its Mexico operations.
- Fidel Castro condemned the Arizona massacre in a recent “Reflection.”
- The Dominican Republic’s top immigration official said Monday the country would continue deporting undocumented Haitians, despite protests from human rights groups.
- The captain of a Honduran fishing boat was killed by the Jamaican navy and at least two crewmen were wounded in the incident in the Caribbean, Honduran navy chief Rear Adm. Juan Pablo Rodríguez said.
- A total of 1,107 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in El Salvador during 2010, according to figures compiled by the police that were first reported Sunday.
- Guatemalan authorities say a California man died when his small plane crashed in a mountainous region in the western part of the Central American country.
- Colombian stocks are showing signs of fatigue early in 2011 after two years of outsize gains, as some investors take to the sidelines over concerns that the country’s economy is slowing and shares are overpriced.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez urged his followers to ramp up the seizure of land in Caracas so it can be used for low-income housing.
- U.S. activist Lori Berenson asked a Peruvian court Monday not to revoke her parole and send her back to prison to finish a 20-year sentence for aiding leftist rebels, saying she regrets her actions and is not a danger to society.
- Canada’s HudBay Minerals agreed to buy Norsemont Mining to gain access to a major copper deposit in Peru, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about about $400 million.
- India’s Jindal Steel and Power will invest $280 million this year to start work on an iron ore and steel project in Bolivia that has been plagued by delays, the company’s managing director said on Monday.
- Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho is set to leave Italy’s AC Milan and sign with the Brazilian team Flamengo, after days of negotiations in his native Brazil.
- Former Argentina coach Diego Maradona claims that he will travel to England in February to discuss an offer to coach a Premier League team.
- A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck central Chile Monday, about 80 miles north north-west of Concepción, but there were no reports of damage.
Image: OEA – OAS @ Flickr.