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Briefly: Americas

- - Monday, September 12, 2011

CHILE

280 arrested, 45 hurt on coup anniversary

SANTIAGO — The numbers are in from violence on the 38th anniversary of Chile's military coup: Police arrested 280 people and 45 people were injured, including a teenager who is in critical condition with a bullet in his chest.

The disturbances during the commemoration of Chile's Sept. 11 followed a peaceful march to Santiago's memorial for the more than 40,000 people who were killed, disappeared, or tortured and jailed during the military dictatorship.

CUBA

Dissidents freed after weekend detention

HAVANA — The wife of one of two prominent Cuban dissidents who were arrested and held over the weekend says both men are now free.

Berta Soler says her husband, Angel Moya, and opposition activist Jose Daniel Ferrer were released Monday. The men were detained Friday as they prepared to hold a protest march in the eastern Cuban town of Palma Soriano.

The arrests were the first involving members of a group of 75 former political prisoners since the last of the group was freed earlier this year. The men were arrested in a notorious 2003 sweep against intellectuals and social commentators.

BRAZIL

President says she is free of cancer

BRASILIA — President Dilma Rousseff said Monday she has fully recovered from lymphatic cancer for which she was treated in 2009, and that her main health concern now is losing weight.

The 63-year-old Ms. Rousseff told Globo television she still gets checked every six months in a follow-up to her cancer treatment, which was done in 2009 before she ran for president.

"Cancer can be resolved when detected early. This is very important. If people do prevention, then they are able to detect and treat it. That's what happened with me," she said.

Otherwise, she said her health is good but that she would like to lose a bit of weight. "Not much, [9 to 11 pounds] to get back to where I was before the election," she said.

GUATEMALA

Presidential hopefuls heading for runoff

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala's leading presidential candidates are headed for a November runoff, as a retired general who had a commanding lead in the polls failed to win 50 percent of the vote.

With 95 percent of the polling stations reporting Monday, preliminary results show Otto Perez Molina of the Patriot Party with 36 percent support Monday, followed by businessmen Manuel Baldizon with 24 percent and Eduardo Suger with 16 percent.

"We are going to double our efforts, now that we are in the second round," Mr. Perez said after learning he would be at least in the runoff.

In pre-election polls, Mr. Perez, who promised to get tough on Guatemala's rampant crime, had the support of up to 48 percent of voters. Mr. Baldizon had 18 percent, and Mr. Suger 10 percent.

All are right-leaning. Any candidate needed more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid the Nov. 6 runoff.

But Mr. Perez garnered far less, as Mr. Baldizon's support increased in the weeks leading up to the election.

People also were embarrassed to say they would vote for Mr. Baldizon, according to former Foreign Minister Edgar Gutierrez, who heads a political think tank in Guatemala.

Mr. Baldizon, a tycoon-turned-political populist, made many promises that some considered outlandish, including that he would take Guatemala's soccer team to the World Cup.

But other promises were appealing in a country with rampant poverty, including a pledge to boost salaries and social programs, to employ the death penalty, now rarely used, and to televise executions.

Mr. Gutierrez said that greater support than expected for Mr. Suger also cut into Mr. Perez's lead, but that those votes will likely go to Mr. Perez in the runoff.