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A reported blog on happenings around Latin America.

Joe Biden meets Latin American leaders, won't back down on legalization

Vice President Joe Biden said drug legalization 'worth discussing' but that Washington would stand firm.
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US Vice-President Joe Biden (L) poses with Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vasquez Mota (R) of the National Action Party (PAN), during a meeting on March 5, 2012 in Mexico City. US Vice President Joe Biden headed to Mexico and Honduras for a routine two-day diplomatic trip. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
In a fleeting visit to Mexico, US Vice President Joe Biden insisted that Washington would not back down amid Latin America's talks of decriminalizing drugs in order to curb the region's spiraling cartel wars.

Chavez needs further cancer treatment

The Venezuelan president has appeared on television after his latest operation in Cuba
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A boy takes pictures of a poster with the image of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before Mass at a square in Caracas on March 2. Chavez said he was recovering from surgery in Cuba but will need further radiation treatment. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
In a TV appearance on Sunday morning, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said that the lesion recently removed by doctors in Cuba was cancerous and that further radiotherapy will be necessary.

Mexico election: Vazquez Mota closing the gap

The PRI may not have as easy a time as they'd hoped in July's vote.
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Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota (C) celebrates her victory with her counterparts Santiago Creel (L) and Ernesto Cordero (R) from National Action Party (PAN in Spanish) during a press conference in Mexico City on February 5, 2012. Mota is the official presidential candidate of the National Action Party. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexico's presidential election may not be as close a call as many analysts had predicted. The opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was expected to win by a landslide after President Felipe Calderón's National Action Party (PAN) is tainted by his unsuccessful war on drugs.

Ecuador president pardons newspaper after libel case

President Rafael Correa had said he was cracking down on "the dictatorship of the media." Now he says, “I never wanted this trial."
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Ecuador President Rafael Correa speaks during a press conference at the Carondelet presidential palace in Quito on Feb. 27, 2011. Correa announced Monday he was pardoning the executives and a former columnist of El Universo newspaper in a high-profile libel case in which a court levied jail sentences and a $40 million fine. (AFP/Getty Images)
Ecuador President Rafael Correa has pardoned three newspaper publishers and a columnist who had been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay over $40 million in damages to Correa.

In Bolivia, protesters with disabilities clash with police

At the end of a 100-day march, protesters fight to push through riot police using crutches and wheelchairs. Police fight back with pepper spray.
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Protesters in wheelchairs and on crutches fought with riot police as they tried to get to the Plaza de Armas the Bolivian capital of La Paz on Feb. 23. The protesters were ending a 100-day, 1,000-mile march through Bolivia to demand a raise in disability welfare aid from the government of President Evo Morales. (JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Dozens of people with disabilities — many in wheelchairs or on crutches — fought with riot police Friday in the Bolivian capital of La Paz at the end of a 100-day march for increased government aid money.

Deadly Mexican prison riot a cover for gang escape

More than 40 members of the Gulf cartel were killed while 30 members of the Zetas escaped.
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Relatives of inmates at Apodaca prison pull the security fence following a riot inside the prison, on Feb. 19, 2012, in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. (JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP/Getty Images)
A Mexican prison riot in which 44 people were stabbed, strangled or beaten to death was originally mourned as just another Latin American prison tragedy, days after a fire in a Honduras jail killed more than 350 inmates.

Chile rains wash landmines onto the road

Under Pinochet, Chile planted thousands of mines along its Argentine, Bolivian and Peruvian borders.
On Monday, torrential downpours exposed landmines near its border with Peru, the BBC reports.

Felipe Calderon pleads to US: 'No more weapons'

The outgoing president has erected the sign in Ciudad Juarez.
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The Casino Royale smolders after 52 people died inside. Police say the owner failed to pay off a drug cartel. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
In perhaps a final affront to the United States today, Mexican President Felipe Calderón unveiled a billboard with the words, “No more weapons,” facing north of the border in Ciudad Juárez, one of the world’s most violent cities ravaged by drug crime.

Honduras jail deaths 'could have been avoided'

Local media talks of "apocalyptic" scene at Comayagua prison.
The prison fire in Honduras Tuesday night that killed more than 350 inmates was one of the deadliest jail blazes in modern world history.

Venezuela government questions primary election result

Pro-Chavez forces are questioning the legitimacy of the country's opposition primary.
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Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski celebrates after winning the primary elections in Caracas on Feb. 12, 2012. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
As the smear campaign began against Henrique Capriles Radonski, the winner of Sunday's primary vote and therefore the man to take on President Hugo Chavez in October's election, government officials are beginning to question the election's legitimacy.