The big but not surprising news of the week is Mauricio Funes’s electoral victory in El Salvador
Mauricio Funes, a former TV newsman who was recruited to run for president, declared himself the winner of El Salvador’s presidential contest Sunday night, bringing into power a leftist party built by former guerrillas and ending two decades of conservative rule.
Funes, a dynamic speaker and political outsider who compares himself to President Obama and pledged to be an agent of change in the small Central American nation, was leading the polls late Sunday night with 51.2 percent of the vote and more than 90 percent of the ballots counted. Turnout was high and election day was mostly calm.
If the lead holds, Funes and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) will take control of a nation struggling with an economic crisis and a murder rate that is among the highest in the world. The country has also suffered through 12 years of civil war, which left more than 70,000 people dead.
He too promises hope and change (emphasis added):
“This is the happiest night of my life, and I want it to be the night of El Salvador’s greatest hope,” he said. “I want to thank all the people who voted for me and chose that path of hope and change.”
In other news of the week, Lula went to Washington, a Russian Air Force chief raised the possibility that his country would have bombers in Venezuela and Cuba, and Nicolas Sarkozy concluded his trip to Mexico.
Washington Starts Another Trade War
Let them eat carbon
Civil Affairs in Colombia
A rather off-the-wall theory Destabilizing Mexico
The financial crisis hits Mexico:
Sunday’s hypocrites: Magglio and Chavez