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Latin America Roundup -- April 22

April 22, 2008 |  7:30 am

Fernando_lugo_reacts The election of Fernando Lugo as president of Paraguay signals the latest advance of the left in Latin America and the end of more than six decades of rule by a political party best known for a longtime anti-communist dictatorship, write Patrick J. McDonnell and Paul Richter after Sunday’s elections in the country. Lugo, a bespectacled former Roman Catholic bishop, appears to be among the more moderate left-leaning leaders of South America, where only two major nations, Colombia and Peru, continue to be run by conservatives.

Photo: Former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo, candidate of the Patriotic Alliance for Change party, reacts during a news conference at a hotel in Asuncion. The Court of Justice Superior Electoral confirmed Lugo's triumph with an advantage of 10 points over former Minister of Education Blanca Ovelar. Credit: Martin Crespo / EPA

In a meeting with President Bush on Monday, President Felipe Calderon of Mexico said the North American Free Trade Agreement “has come under criticism.” During a photo session with Bush at an annual trade summit in New Orleans of the United States, Canada and Mexico, Calderon noted that although the United States was “going through an electoral process,” the two countries needed to solve immigration issues “with respect and responsibility,” James Gerstenzang reports.

After a generation of electoral reform and economic liberalization, Mexicans finally are able to access important public records, courtesy of the landmark 2002 Federal Transparency and Access to Public Government Information Law. But just as the country starts to enjoy a culture of transparency, vested interests are looking to defang the right to know. Zachary Bookman, a lawyer and a Fulbright Fellow studying transparency in Mexico City, writes in Opinion.

The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp today honoring former Los Angeles Times newsman Ruben Salazar, who, through his reporting and opinion columns during the 1960s, became a provocative voice for a Mexican American community searching for its political and social identity. Louis Sahagun has the story.

"It is not every day that we have the opportunity to celebrate a colleague whose work for this newspaper withstands the scrutiny of history," says this Los Angeles Times editorial. To many, Salazar is recalled largely for his death. He was killed at age 42 by a tear-gas canister fired by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy during a Chicano antiwar protest in East Los Angeles in 1970.