Today in Latin America
Top Story — El Salvador’s right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party narrowly earned a victory in Sunday’s midterm elections and now holds a greater number of seats than the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador’s legislature. According to results released Monday, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes’ leftist FMLN lost four seats, claiming 31 of 84 seats to ARENA’s 33. Funes, El Salvador’s first leftist president since the civil war, was elected in 2009 and continues to enjoy high approval ratings as he faces another two years in office, but the election results are blow to the FMLN. ARENA ruled El Salvador for two decades after the country’s civil war, which officially concluded in 1992, and campaigned in 2012 on an anti-crime platform as drug violence rises in El Salvador and neighboring countries. Currently, 14 people are murdered every day in El Salvador, a nation of only 6 million. About 75,000 people were kiled during the 1980-1992 civil war.
Read more from the AFP.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican authorities, who seized Jalisco New Generation cartel leader Erick Valencia Salazar on Friday, say that Valencia oversaw the murders of 35 people in Veracruz last year.
- Rafael Cardenas Vela, nephew of former Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas, plead guilty in Texas to charges that he distributed marijuana and cocaine.
- Legal experts are criticizing authorities in North Carolina for terminating the parental rights of undocumented immigrants who are deported.
- Undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio “Tony” Cua-Toc sued in Georgia for the right to keep his winning lottery ticket, which earned him $750,000 before taxes.
- U.S. Justice Department prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered their closing arguments Monday in the trial of Haiti Teleco director Jean Rene Duperval, who is accused of corruption.
- Despite the establishment of U.S. military bases in the Caribbean and Central America, the number of drug shipment interceptions is about 30 percent and dropping, according to U.S. Southern Command.
- In a reshuffling of his Cabinet, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli named Julio Molto the Director of the National Police and Gustavo Perez the chairman of the State Security Council.
- Honduran authorities found 62 illegal landing strips in four eastern provinces, allegedly used to smuggle drugs in and out of the country.
- Alexander Beltran Herrera plead not guilty to accusations that he was involved in the kidnapping of three Americans in Colombia from 2003-2008.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez reported from Cuba on Sunday that two Venezuelan soldiers were killed near the border with Colombia.
- At a UN narcotics control meeting Monday, Bolivian President Evo Morales urged the 53 members to legalize coca leaf chewing and traditional farming.
- Students from Cumbal Township in the border department of Nariño, Colombia have enrolled in Ecuadorian schools to avoid violence from armed groups.
- One person was killed and nine injured in a knife fight between Atletico Nacional and Independiente fans in Medellín, Colombia.
- The Brazilian government is investigating the sale of 8,880 square miles of Amazon rainforest by the Mundurucu Indians to Irish company Celestial Green Ventures for $120 million dollars.
- Heavy rains have flooded more homes in northern Chile, raising concerns that landmines laid in the 1970s will again be washed onto roads in the region.
- Anti-narcotics agents destroyed 242 tons of marijuana in Paraguay near the border with Brazil.
Image: rosaamarilla @ Flickr.