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