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Presidential debate showcases divided Brazil

S - Brazil's top presidential candidates -- minus imprisoned frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva -- have clashed in the first debate of the campaign, showcasing sharp divides in Latin America's biggest nation.

First Brazil presidential debate will not feature jailed Lula

Bras - Brazil stages its first presidential election debate Thursday with eight of the crowded field locking horns but also one notable absentee -- jailed frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Loyalist to unpopular Brazil leader launches presidential bid

Bras - Henrique Meirelles, a former finance minister in unpopular President Michel Temer's government, joined Brazil's presidential race Thursday, promising market reforms to rebuild the battered economy.

Mexico's AMLO asks for UN help to fight corruption, rights abuses

Mexico - Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday said he is asking the United Nations for help combatting corruption and human rights abuses.

Mexico president-elect to have Congressional majority: official results

Mexico - Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will have a majority in both houses of Congress, according to preliminary official results released Tuesday, cementing the anti-establishment leftist's landslide win.

Brazil's green candidate aims to restore 'credibility'

Bras - Amidst corruption scandals, economic problems and the political instability surrounding the imprisonment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, environmentalist presidential candidate Mariana Silva is vowing to restore credibility in Brazil.

Mexico's 'Bronco': tough-talking rancher seeks to be dark horse

Mexico - Jaime "El Bronco" Rodriguez, a tough-talking rancher turned independent presidential candidate, has next to no chance of winning Mexico's election Sunday, but he's stolen the show as the most entertaining contender.

Corruption, violence, poverty: Mexico's voters speak out on the issues

Mexico - The mother of a missing student, a man deported from the United States, an indigenous woman, a yoga instructor: AFP asked Mexican voters to share the issues most important to them as the country holds historic elections on Sunday.

Mexico's 'Bronco': tough-talking rancher seeks to be dark horse

Mexico - Jaime "El Bronco" Rodriguez, a tough-talking rancher turned independent presidential candidate, has next to no chance of winning Mexico's election Sunday, but he's stolen the show as the most entertaining contender.

In Lopez Obrador's hometown, Mexicans hope for 'historic' change

San Fernando - In the village of Tepetitan, in southern Mexico, people still remember Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the outgoing boy who liked to play baseball and swim in the river -- and who could become the country's next president Sunday.

Mexico campaign closes with leftist 'AMLO' looking unstoppable

Mexico - Mexico's presidential campaign ended with a fiesta of rallies Wednesday, as establishment candidates made last-ditch pleas for voters to reject the radical break with the past promised by leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The Pena Nieto years: the reforms, the scandals, the Chapo

Mexico - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto swept to office in 2012 as a youthful reformer with movie-star looks, but is preparing to leave it with a legacy marred by crime and corruption.

Venezuela supreme court rejects challenge to Maduro re-election

Caracas - Venezuela's highest court refused Wednesday to consider a lawsuit challenging President Nicolas Maduro's re-election victory in May.The elections chamber of the Supreme Court announced its decision on Twitter, and did not give the reasoning behind it.

Graft allegations dominate final presidential debate in Mexico

Mexico - Mexico's presidential candidates traded accusations of corruption Tuesday in a hard-fought final debate ahead of the July 1 election.

Jailed Lula still way ahead in Brazil presidential poll

S - Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains far ahead in a poll out Sunday of candidates in Brazil's October presidential election, even though he has been in prison for two months.

Nicaragua talks on hold as student becomes 135th victim of violence

Managua - Gunmen opened fire on a barricade manned by anti-government protesters, killing a student, amid stalled efforts to revive peace negotiations between the government and opposition.

Leader of Brazil's homeless movement eyes presidential palace

S - He's got barely one percent in the polls so far, but 35-year-old leftist Guilherme Boulos says Brazil is ripe for a new face willing to take on the corrupt and powerful in October presidential elections.

Beaten Venezuelan candidate mounts legal challenge to Maduro win

Caracas - President Nicolas Maduro's closest challenger in this month's presidential polls, Henri Falcon, on Wednesday filed an appeal with the country's highest court to have the vote annulled.

Mexico leftist presidential candidate tops 50% in poll

Mexico - The fiery leftist leading the race for Mexico's July 1 presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, would get more than half the vote if it were held now, according to a poll published Wednesday.

Colombia's FARC says 24 ex-combatants killed this year

Apo - Colombian former rebel movement FARC said 24 of its ex-combatants had been killed since the beginning of the year, sounding a warning over continued violence threatening Colombia's fragile peace agreement.

Five key factors that could swing Colombia's second round of voting

Apo - Conservative former president Alvaro Uribe, who opposed the FARC peace deal, exerts a powerful influence on voters in Colombia, but the left was still able to achieve a record score in Sunday's first round of the presidential election, in which turnout...

Two Venezuelan generals among group detained for 'treason': lawyer

Caracas - Two Venezuelan generals were among a group of people arrested last week for allegedly plotting against the country's President Nicolas Maduro, their lawyer said Sunday.The generals are accused of leading a group of eight soldiers and a civilian.

Weary Venezuelans reject 'Maduro's circus'

Caracas - Fed up with years of acute deprivation and deeply distrustful of the government, a record number of Venezuelans declined to vote in the election that saw unpopular President Nicolas Maduro returned to office.

What's ahead for crisis-hit Venezuela after Maduro's contested re-election

Caracas - Following the disputed re-election of Nicolas Maduro, the future looks bleak for Venezuela, already mired in the worst economic crisis in its history that has left dire shortages of food and medicines and led to violent protests.

'Red points' spark contention in Venezuelan vote

Caracas - The sound of a Mexican folk ballad rings out from under a red canopy set up by the ruling party in a favela, or shantytown, in the Venezuelan capital.

Venezuela opposition figures end jail protest

Caracas - A group of Venezuelan opposition prisoners on Friday ended their takeover of part of a prison run by the feared intelligence services, where an American accused of espionage is also being held, one of the inmates said.

Falcon cuts divisive figure in Venezuela's election

Caracas - Henri Falcon, who stands between Venezuelans and another six years of rule by President Nicolas Maduro in elections Sunday, cuts a polarizing figure, arousing the ire of Maduro's socialists and sections of the main opposition alike.

Brazil's Lula lashes out at imprisonment, loses privileges

Bras - Brazil's leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday lashed out against his imprisonment for corruption but the government rejected his claim to have been victim of a "farce" and a judge stripped him of presidential privileges.

Venezuela opposition figures in jail protest

Caracas - Dozens of Venezuelan opposition prisoners have taken over part of a prison run by the feared intelligence services days ahead of elections, a rights group said Thursday.

Venezuela opposition calls for boycott of May 20 election

Caracas - Venezuela's opposition on Thursday called for a boycott of the May 20 presidential election, urging those running against President Nicolas Maduro to withdraw their candidacy.
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