A new R1-trillion [$96 billion] economic and social infrastructure program aims to transform many poor areas by building new roads, rail links, ports, universities and schools.
On Sunday, voters in Panama upset the predictions of pollsters by electing dissident Vice President Juan Carlos Varela, of the Panameñista Party, as their new president.
This election is largely a contest of powerful business tycoons who made their fortunes out of the breakup of the old Soviet Union and the privatization of state enterprises that followed.
The right wing Union for a Popular Movement declared victory and the far right National Front surged.
For the second time, Michelle Bachelet was sworn in as president of Chile, Mar. 11. Bachelet's first term as president of Chile ran from 2006 to 2010.
Opposition continues to grow against efforts by the right-wing Conservative government of Stephen Harper to impose voter suppression legislation in Canada.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe took issue with the timing of the report's release, noting that it had "provided some ammunition to many of these parties that have nothing to offer to the electorate."
The candidate of the left wing FMLN, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, appears to have won the Mar. 9 presidential runoff elections.
Shocking pollsters and pundits, the left surged in the presidential elections in El Salvador, giving a substantial plurality to the candidate of the left-wing FMLN Salvador Sanchez Ceren.
In Okinawa's Nago City mayoral election, which centered on the plan to construct a new U.S. military base in the city, anti-base incumbent Inamine Susumu won with a wide margin.