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NotiCen offers information and analysis of regional economic integration, economic liberalization, and the impact on the environment, labor, politicization and income distribution in the countries of the Caribbean and Central America, including Cuba.

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Costa Rica Bolsters Programs to Prevent Violence Against Women

Domestic violence is an environment where there is an abusive exercise of power targeted at women, ranging from basic control––what women do, how they dress, whom they relate with––to extreme aggression or femicide, said Alejandra Mora, president of Costa Rica’s Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres (Women’s National Institute, INAMU). Twenty-two femicides were recorded in Costa Rica last year––five fewer than in 2015 and the same number as in 2014––or an average of two such murders per month.Mora, who also heads the Ministerio de la Condición de la Mujer (Women’s Status Ministry), told the Latin America Data Base (LADB) that solving the problem has to involve society as a whole, not just institutions such as INAMU or the Security and Justice ministries.In Costa Rica, where authorities are concerned about a rising trend in the general homicide rate, the gender violence issue is addressed through a variety of initiatives, which include not only women and children, but men as well. Local governments, as well as communities and families, should realize that protecting women’s lives is a shared responsibility, Mora said.

Daniel Ortega Begins Third Straight Term as President of Nicaragua

Whatever challenges await Daniel Ortega in the coming months and years were well out of sight and mind on the evening of Jan. 10, when the already long-serving president of Nicaragua was sworn in for another five-year term, his third in a row and fourth overall. Joining him on stage was Rosario Murillo, his wife and now vice president, who stands first in the line of succession should illness of some other unforeseen circumstance prevent Ortega, 71, from completing the next leg of his presidency. Murillo, 65, a poet and former legislator, has been a fixture in Nicaraguan politics since Ortega, a one-time guerrilla commander, first led the country as head of the post-revolution junta government (1979-1985). He later served as president (1985-1990) but was defeated in his first reelection bid. After two more failed tries, Ortega squeezed back into the presidency a decade ago following a narrow win in the 2006 election. The ruling couple begin this next chapter in their long leadership story having amassed an extraordinary amount of power against a divided and outmaneuvered opposition.

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