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Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

This week’s likely top stories: Former Brazilian president investigated; Opposition gains influence in Bolivia; ICJ hearing on Bolivia-Chile border dispute begins; Puerto Rico legalizes medical marijuana; Costa Rican coast suffers chemical spill.

Brazilian Attorney General Roberto Gugel announced Wednesday that his office will investigate a claim that former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva was aware of the massive 2005 vote-buying scheme known as the “mensalão,” in which members of Lula’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers' Party—PT) and other politicians bribed Brazilian lawmakers to back PT initiatives in Congress.

Top stories this week are likely to include: Dilma Rousseff in Washington; Sixth Summit of the Americas on Saturday; Chávez possibly seeking treatment in Brazil; Maras and Zetas reportedly joining forces; and Boudou under investigation.

On Tuesday President Dilma Rousseff announced a series of stimulus measures to kick-start the Brazilian economy.

Although he won’t assume Peru’s presidency until July 28, a poll released yesterday by Peruvian firm Ipsos Apoyo reveals that President-elect Ollanta Humala enjoys a 70 percent approval rating with five weeks to go before his inauguration.

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