Pot Referendums in the U.S. Prompt Mexico to Rethink Drug Strategy and Other Top News in Latin America

PHOTO: How commercial marijuana in Washington and Oregon could slash cartels revenueColeen Danger/Flickr
How commercial marijuana in Washington and Oregon could slash cartels' revenue

Here at Univision/ABC, it's our responsibility to inform you what's going on across our southern border. And we invite you to take a look at the events that shape politics, the economy, drug wars, and culture in the region because it affects us too.

So, without further ado, here's our roundup of the most interesting news in Latin America.

Marijuana Referendums Force Mexican Offcials to Reconsider Drug Strategy

The Washington Post reports that the decision by voters in Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana use on Tuesday, has prompted Mexican President elect Enrique Peña Nieto and his aides to "reformulate," their anti-drug strategies.

Marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado is not expected to have a major impact on the profits of Mexican drug cartels, as both states only represent a small portion of the market for drugs in the U.S. Sales of pot are also thought to account for less than 20 percent of drug cartel profits, according to sources consulted by the Post. However the prospect that more states could legalize drugs could get politicians in the U.S. and Latin America to start thinking out of the box when it comes to drug policy, analysts consulted by the newspaper said.

Mixed reactions to Obama's Victory Amongst Latin American Leaders

Latin American leaders have had differing reactions to Obama's victory on Tuesday. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Mexico's President elect Enrique Peña Nieto both congratulated Obama for his victory through their Twitter accounts. Santos said he wanted to "deepen," relationships with the U.S. and Peña Nieto tweeted that he would personally congratulate Obama in a meeting between the two men slated for Nov. 27th.

Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez maintained a critical stance towards the U.S. president, saying during a meeting with his cabinet that he hoped Obama would "reflect," on his mistakes, and "dedicate himself to governing his country and forget about invading other nations, destabilizing countries, etcetera."

Meanwhile, Bolivia's President Evo Morales, asked Obama to lift the five decade old trade embargo against Cuba. "He was reelected thanks to latinos...It's the best thing he could do to recognize the latino vote," Morales said during a speech in the region of Potosi.

Earthquake Death Toll Set to Rise in Guatemala

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck Guatemala on Wednesday is set to rise, Reuters reports.

So far 52 people have been found dead, but on Thursday, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina told reporters that 22 people were still missing, he expected rescue crews to find more dead bodies. Most deaths occurred in San Marcos, a province of Guatemala that is located on the border with Mexico.

UN to Send Emergency Aid to Cuba

The UN's World Food Program is to deliver emergency aid to the southeast of Cuba, where Hurricane Sandy brought widespread damage. The hurricane, which hit Cuba on 25 October and left 11 people dead, brought down many buildings and knocked out electricity connections. According to initial government reports, Sandy damaged some 200,000 homes and affected more than a million people.

Bolivia Returns 700 Year Old Stolen Mummy to Peru

Bolivian authorities returned to Peru a 700-year-old mummy of a toddler seized two years ago from antiquities traffickers. It was welcomed back to Peru on Tuesday as a sort of celebrity, a symbol of the nation's effort to protect its cultural heritage. Archaeologists believe the mummy is of a child of about two years and comes from a pre-Inca culture from coastal Peru.