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El Salvador

The approach adopted by former President Mauricio Funes’ administration to combat crime is probably the least popular crime control strategy in Central America’s northern triangle.

This week’s likely top stories: the OAS General Assembly will take place in Asunción this week; Brazil creates  a “Crisis Cabinet” for the World Cup; Salvador Sánchez Cerén is sworn in in El Salvador; Leopoldo López faces a hearing in Venezuela; Uruguayans vote in primary elections.

Luego de pasar por la elección más reñida en la historia reciente de El Salvador, el país espera que en menos de un mes Mauricio Funes,  el primer presidente del  partido de izquierda Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), deje el poder y le pase la banda presidencial al primer presidente excombatiente del FMLN, Salvador Sánchez Cerén.

Recuerdo que, hace algunas décadas, las palabras más temidas por alumnos de secundaria eran: “preparen papel y lápiz para una prueba sorpresa.” Confieso que en alguna ocasión, en silencio elevé una plegaria para pedir una intervención divina que no dejara al profesor enunciar esas palabras.

El Salvador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced a winner of the March 9 presidential runoff a week after the election, leaving half of the country overjoyed and the other half in despair.

Likely top stories this week: election results are sustained in El Salvador; Venezuelan protests continue; Santos is optimistic about peace with FARC; young immigrant protesters cross back into the U.S.; Gustavo Petro’s future as mayor is uncertain in Bogotá.

Salvadoran presidential candidate Norman Quijano demanded  a recount of individual votes on Wednesday after preliminary results from Sunday’s elections showed that Quijano lost to former rebel and current Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén by fewer than 7,000 votes.

Likely top stories this week: presidential candidates in Costa Rica and El Salvador will advance to runoff elections; the dispute over the Chile-Peru border continues; Colombia brings charges against the U.S.-based coal company Drummond; heavy rains in Uruguay lead to flood warnings in most of the country.

Across Latin America, military-led anticrime strategies are losing ground to newer concepts such as community policing.

Likely top stories this week: Chilean voters go to the polls; El Salvador and Honduras face off over Isla Conejo; the Venezuelan government takes over the electronic chain Daka; Chilean forensic experts conclude that Pablo Neruda was not poisoned; the Argentine president is cleared to start working.

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