Today in Latin America
Top Story — Nicaragua and Guatemala held presidential elections on Sunday, with both contests seeming to shape up according to expectations. Leftwing incumbent Daniel Ortega seemed headed toward victory in Nicaragua, though two civic groups said voting irregularities occurred across the country. Ortega’s candidacy caused controversy because the country’s Constitution prohibits consecutive re-election, but the Supreme Court allowed him to stand. Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council is expected to announce the first official vote tally Monday evening.
Read more from The New York Times.
Meanwhile, former General Otto Pérez Molina easily won a second-round presidential election in Guatemala Sunday, taking 55 percent of the vote. Pérez Molina campaigned on the promise to crack down on crime and drug-related violence.
Read more from the Associated Press.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is expanding its reach in the drug war, according to a report by The New York Times.
- EB-5 visas, which give U.S. residency to foreigners who invest $500,000 in a designated high-unemployment or rural area of $1 million in any other area, are becoming more popular among Latin American elites.
- A gang set fire to the offices of the newspaper El Buen Tono in the town of Córdoba, east of Mexico City.
- Armed men fired on a group of volleyball players in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, leaving eight people dead and wounding at least seven.
- A Major League Baseball investigator in the Dominican Republic has been charged with falsifying the identity of a prospect so the player could obtain a contract with a $135,000 signing bonus.
- Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he would not take action to repeal an anti-gay law that has been criticized by the international community, saying that the public should decide the issue.
- Free-market reforms have taken hold in the Cuban countryside, with small business popping up even in one-street towns, the Associated Press reports.
- Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli rejected French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s characterization of the Central American country as a tax haven.
- Hacker group Anonymous attacked Salvadoran government Web sites over the weekend, forcing temporary suspensions in service.
- Costa Rican Trade Minister Anabel González criticized a fiscal reform proposal Friday, saying it could undermine foreign investment.
- Colombia’s FARC guerrillas said in a statement on Sunday that they would continue their fight after leader Alfonso Cano was gunned down in an operation by the Colombian military on Friday.
- At least 22 people have died in mudslides in western Colombia after one of the worst rainy seasons in recent memory.
- Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also known as “Carlos the Jackal”, will face charges in France on Monday that he was involved in bombings that killed 11 people in the early 1980s.
- Brazilian Labor Minister Carlos Lupi said called for an investigation of advisor Anderson Alexandre dos Santos, who was allegedly involved in a scheme to demand kickbacks from NGOs with government contracts.
- Cameraman Gelson Domingos da Silva died after being shot in the chest while he filmed a police raid of Rio de Janeiro’s Antares favela on Sunday. Four alleged drug traffickers were also killed in the raid.
- A $7 billion deal by BP to sell its stake in an Argentine crude oil company collapsed.
- A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit northern Chile on Saturday, but no deaths were reported.
Image: Svengaarn @ Flickr.