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Porfirio Lobo

The Honduran Congress voted Wednesday to dismiss four Supreme Court justices accused of blocking police reforms sought by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, escalating a standoff between the country’s judicial, legislative and executive branches.

The top-five stories for the week of March 5-9, 2012, include: Joe Biden’s Latin America tour; FIFA’s criticism of Brazil; Hugo Chávez’ health recovery; new presidential polls in Mexico; and the UN making further preparations for Rio+20.

AQ Online today launches its weekly Monday Memo that looks ahead to what it expects to be the top headline grabbers for the week. The top anticipated stories for the week of February 27 include: Hugo Chávez’ surgery; U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s current five-country Latin America tour; U.S. Vice President’s forthcoming visit to Mexico and Honduras; the search for a new prime minister in Haiti; and FARC suspending kidnappings in Colombia.

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said on Saturday that the surge of police and military personnel in cities highly affected by drug-related violence—part of a mission known as Operación Relámpago (Operation Lightning)—has been successful in reducing crime.

In efforts to combat an ongoing wave of narcotics-related violence, police forces in Honduras on Monday moved in on cities and neighborhoods dominated by criminal gangs.

The sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) general debate began this morning in New York.

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya signed an agreement yesterday in Cartagena, Colombia—brokered by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez—that allows him to legally return to Honduras for the first time since being overthrown in a June 2009 coup d’état.

More than a year after former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was forcibly removed from power in Tegucigalpa, Chile and Mexico on Saturday joined a growing number of Latin American countries to re-establish diplomatic ties with Honduras.

One year ago this week, the Honduran military expelled President Manuel Zelaya from the country.

Word from the annual OAS General Assembly in Lima this week is that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appealed to the hemispheric community to re-instate Honduras to full membership, but that a number of other hemispheric countries, notably Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, demurred.

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