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LA migrant workers remittances

Slumping economies in the United States, Spain and Japan are causing reverberations in the countries of Latin America as migrant workers send less money home.

Latin America

Latin America

The Inter-American Development Bank reported that for the first time since they began tracking remittances in 2000, remittances to Latin America declined in the fourth quarter of 2008, dropping 2% relative to the fourth quarter of 2007.

In January, remittances declined further, with Colombia experiencing a 16% drop relative to 2008, Brazil suffering a 14% decline, Mexico 12%, and Guatemala and El Salvador each falling 8%.

These numbers come as 2008 saw an average 10% increase in remittances. Nearly US$70 billion was sent back to families in those areas in 2008. Read More…

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El Salvador elects leftist president Funes

Sunday night, Mauricio Funes of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party declared victory in El Salvador‘s 2009 presidential elections.

Mauricio Funes

Mauricio Funes

Although El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal has not yet certified a winner, Funes shows an insurmountable lead in the results, besting Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA) candidate Rodrigo Ávila by a margin of 51.27% to 48.73%, with 90.68% of votes counted.

Ávila conceded defeat, vowing that ARENA would remain vigorous in opposition.

Funes’ victory marks a major shift in the politics of the country: ARENA has controlled the presidency of El Salvador since the end of El Salvador’s civil war in 1991. Read More…