Mexican candidate confident of winning OAS leadership race

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mexican foreign minister Luis Ernesto Derbez says he is confident that he will become the next Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General, and will be in the post within 4 months. He claims to have 17 of the 18 votes needed in order to have the support of a majority within the 34 member states of the OAS.

The post became available after the previous Secretary General, Miguel Ángel Rodriguez, served only 24 days of his term of office, before returning home to Costa Rica to face corruption charges.

The other candidates for the post are ex El Salvadorean president Francisco Flores, Guatemalan Rigoberta Menchú and Chilean Interior Minister José Miguel Insulza. Meanwhile Francisco Flores is in the Dominican Republic on the beginning of a tour of Caribbean countries drumming up support for his own candidacy. He is being accompanied by El Salvador's deputy foreign minister Margarita Escobar in a clear sign of the importance El Salvador puts on getting their candidate into the job.