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Rio Group Summit begins with concern over faith in democracy

The Rio Group Summit began here Thursday with an evident concern over the region’s loss of faith in democracy in light of Latin America’s struggles with poverty and achieving sustainable development. The concern over the threats to the institutional order was evident in the texts drafted by the chiefs of state of the 19-member group. “It’s time to make clear, joint efforts to recover the faith in democracy and renew the hope that we’re moving toward the future,” said Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo. Toledo said that Latin American countries “must make a long-term commitment” to Haiti, which needs help not only to establish peace and democracy, but also “sustained growth with social justice.” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva concurred with Toledo about the need to improve “the quality” of the region’s democracy, adding that the situation in Haiti has made evident the international solidarity. A Brazilian general is commanding a largely Latin American peacekeeping force in the troubled Caribbean country. Full Story

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