Today in Latin America
Top Story — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was sworn in Tuesday to his third five-year term as the Central American nation’s president amid calls that the elections were illegal. Ortega, the former Sandinista rebel leader who was at odds with the U.S. during his term in the 1980s, has since worked to maintain ties with Washington even while keeping close relationships with Cuba and Venezuela. Ortega has promised a moderate path in his third term even though his Sandinista party dominates Nicaragua’s legislature, but critics argue that Ortega wants to be president for life and uses the heavily-Sandinista influenced courts to rule in his favor. Among those in attendance for the inauguration in Managua was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is on a Latin American tour to bolster ties during a tense moment in U.S.-Iranian relations.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican authorities found the bodies of thirteen men piled outside a convenience store in Michoacan state on Monday.
- A Mexican magazine published portions of documents detailing the operations of undercover U.S. DEA agents who helped Mexican and Colombian cartels ship drugs and launder money.
- The Obama administration promoted Cecilia Muñoz to director of the Domestic Policy Council, making her president’s point person on immigration and outreach to the Latino community.
- Aid group Partners in Health said Monday that it had tracked down the first victim of Haiti’s cholera outbreak, which has killed 7,000 people since 2010.
- Cuban leader Fidel Castro wrote that a robot would be preferable to the 2012 U.S. presidential candidates and incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama.
- International aid groups and others have complained about the disbursement of aid money sent to Haiti to help the nation recover from its earthquake 2 years ago.
- A man wanted for murdering his girlfriend in his native Dominican Republic was arrested Tuesday in Massachusetts on a fugitive warrant.
- Puerto Rican singer and senator Ruth Fernandez died late Monday at the age of 92.
- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega began his third term as president of Nicaragua Tuesday, where he vowed to rule in moderation.
- The Obama administration argued that Guatemalan prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients who were intentionally exposed to STDs can not sue the U.S.
- A Salvadoran judge closed the case of the 1975 killing of leftist poet Roque Dalton, saying it was too late for a prosecution.
- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Nicaragua on Tuesday for the inauguration of the Central America leader’s third term as president.
- The Panamanian government promised economic aid to protesters who participated in 1964 riots that many suspect led the U.S. to hand over control of the Panama Canal in 1999.
- A New York educator allegedly faked her daughter’s death so she could stay on vacation in Costa Rica longer.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos rejected Tuesday a call by the Revolutionary Armed Forced of Colombia to revive failed peace talks from a decade ago and instead told the rebels to take real steps toward peace.
- The Peruvian government replaced its drug czar on Tuesday after he refused to push an all-out eradication program for coca, at odds with the U.S. embassy.
- Six prisoners have been killed during fighting at a Venezuelan jail and other inmates have taken several police officers hostage.
- A railway between Chile and Bolivia is slated to reopen after being closed for seven years.
- Indigenous Mapuche leaders denied Chilean government claims that they started a forest fire that killed seven firefighters last week.
- An Uruguayan prosecutor said that he may have to shelve an abuse case against six U.N. peacekeepers because authorities can’t get the alleged Haitian victim to testify.
- Brazilian officials and experts say the influence of militias and police death squads in Brazil is growing as they take over favelas in the approach to the 2014 World Cup.
- A mudslide in a small town in southeastern Brazil killed 13 people after two days of heavy rains.
- 154 cows in Paraguay were killed to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease.
Image: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador @ Flickr.