October 18, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Venezuela vs. Guatemala at U.N.

After two days of repeated ballots cast for the Latin American seat in the U.N. Security Council, there is still a deadlock between Venezuela and Guatemala. Hugo Chavez refuses to back down, and prospects for a compromise country emerging seem slim at this point, so the stalemate could continue for several more days. The two-year rotating term begins in January. See washingtonpost.com.

Ecuador counts the votes

Alvaro Noboa leads Rafael Correa by three percentage points, without almost 80 percent of the votes counted. Even though it doesn't really matter who gets the most votes since it will go to a second round in any event, many of Correa's supporters are already crying "fraud." The Brazilian company that is handling the electronic tabulation denies any irregularities. The BBC report explains that Noboa comes from Guayaquil, the commercial port city.

Student riots in Chile

The dispute over education policy in Chile has flared up again, as police arrested over 100 students after rocks were thrown at them. President Michelle Bachelet's government gave into most of the demands last June, but students complained that the promised reforms were not being implemented quickly enough. BBC. It's an ironic sign of Chile's success in socio-economic development that unruly youngsters get coddled and then demand even more -- just like here in the U.S.A.!

Peru ex-pres. Paniagua dies

The former interim president of Peru, Valentin Paniagua, died of complications following heart surgery. He was 69. Paniagua was chosen by Peru's Congress to lead the country after Alberto Fujimori resigned in disgrace while in Japan in 2000, and served until Alejandro Toledo won the election in the following year. He was widely praised for guiding the country back to a normal democratic status after years of increasingly heavy-handed rule by the once-popular Fujimori. See CNN.com.