News / Americas

    Colombia Votes on Congress, Seen as Referendum on FARC Peace Talks

    Presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who is also the current VP for the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), center, accompanied by his wife, center left, raises his ballot before casting it, El Salvador, March 9, 2014.Presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who is also the current VP for the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), center, accompanied by his wife, center left, raises his ballot before casting it, El Salvador, March 9, 2014.
    x
    Presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who is also the current VP for the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), center, accompanied by his wife, center left, raises his ballot before casting it, El Salvador, March 9, 2014.
    Presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who is also the current VP for the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), center, accompanied by his wife, center left, raises his ballot before casting it, El Salvador, March 9, 2014.
    VOA News
    Voters in El Salvador are choosing a new president Sunday, with pre-election polls favoring a former Marxist guerrilla in the runoff poll.

    A victory by Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, the FMLN, would make him the first guerrilla commander to hold the presidency since a truce ended a devastating 13-year civil war in 1992.

    Recent polling showed Ceren holding a 10 to 18-point lead over San Salvador Mayor Norman Quijano of the right-wing National Republican Alliance, known as ARENA.

    Elsewhere, Colombians are choosing a new congress in a vote seen as a referendum on peace talks with leftist guerrillas and a likely bellwether for presidential elections in May.

    Nearly 2,500 candidates are competing for a total of 268 seats in Colombia’s lower house and senate.

    Sunday's election is expected to consolidate President Jose Manuel Santos as the front-runner for a second straight term in the upcoming presidential poll.  

    A win would allow his government to continue talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, which have dominated national political life since they opened in late 2012 in Havana, Cuba.     

    Both sides have agreed to allow the rebels to take part in national politics once the insurgency ends.

    The FARC has been fighting for five decades against the Colombian government.  It partly finances the insurgency through drug trafficking and frequent kidnappings of foreigners and Colombian officials.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha?

    From meat and potatoes to avocados, how immigrants transform American cuisine

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Smog Stays Bad; Mexico City Extends Traffic Cutback

    40 percent of cars and trucks are being ordered to stay off the streets Thursday

    US-Led Tourism Boom Has Cuba Hustling to Keep Up

    Influx of visitors has pushed capacity to the limit, prompting hotels to sharply increase prices

    Brazilian Senator Backs Impeachment Trial for Rousseff

    Senator Antonio Anastasia tells panel of lawmakers that charges against president are serious enough to remove her from office

    Poll: Approval of Venezuelan Leader Drops as Crisis Bites

    Just over one in four Venezuelans approves of President Nicolas Maduro's governance as crippling economic problems weigh on leftist leader

    Brazil Lawmakers Propose Bill to Shield WhatsApp

    Draft law forbids authorities from blocking popular messaging applications, just two days after judicial order left 100 million Brazilians without access to platform

    Residents Flee as Wildfire Threatens Canadian Oil Sands City

    More than 80,000 people evacuate as flames move into the city, destroying whole neighborhoods