LATAM POLITICS TODAY-Brazil's Bolsonaro ends post-election silence

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 LATAM POLITICS TODAY-Brazil's Bolsonaro ends post-election silence
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Peru's new president says she is open to early election talks

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U.S. sanctions officials close to El Salvador's Bukele

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Colombia, U.S. to hold conference on migration in 2023

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Lula picks trusted ally for finance minister post

Dec 9 (Reuters) -

The latest in Latin American politics today:

Brazil's Bolsonaro ends post-election silence

BRASILIA - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

broke his silence for the first time

since his election defeat on Oct. 30 and spoke to supporters calling for a military coup to stop leftist President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva taking office.

Bolsonaro said he had kept silent for almost 40 days, adding, "it hurts my soul."

"Who decides where I go are you. Who decides which way the armed forces go are you," Bolsonaro told his supporters at the gates of the presidential residence.

In his ambiguous comments, Bolsonaro did not endorse their call for a military intervention, but said the armed forces would respect Brazil's Constitution.

Peru's new president says she is open to early election talks

LIMA - Peruvian President Dina Boluarte

said she was willing to discuss early elections

with the country's political and civil organizations, but ruled out kick-starting constitutional changes for the time being.

Boluarte, who took office on Wednesday hours after her predecessor Pedro Castillo was ousted, said she was calling for calm as protests broke out in support of the former president.

"If society and the situation warrants bringing forward elections, then in conversation with the democratic and political forces in Congress, we will sit down to talk," she told reporters.

Later, Peru's foreign ministry

summoned the Mexican ambassador

and said statements by the country's leaders relating to possible asylum for Castillo constituted an "interference in Peru's internal affairs."

U.S. sanctions officials close to El Salvador's Bukele

SAN SALVADOR - The United States

sanctioned several Central American officials

it accused of possible corruption in their respective countries, including two politicians close to El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele.

U.S. authorities sanctioned over 40 people under the Magnitsky Act, which authorizes the government to sanction foreign officials for human rights offences, freeze their assets and ban them from entering the United States.

The officials sanctioned are Labor Minister Rolando Castro, accused of misappropriating public funds, as well as the Salvadoran presidency's legal secretary, Conan Castro, who is accused of obstructing investigations into misappropriation of public funds intended to fight the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Colombia, U.S. to hold conference on migration in 2023

BOGOTA - Colombia and the United States

will hold a conference

in the first quarter of next year to look at measures that would guarantee rights for migrants heading north to the U.S. border, officials from the two countries announced.

"This is a regional challenge and it therefore requires a regional solution," U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said during a joint declaration with Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva, following a meeting with President Gustavo Petro.

Lula names ex-Sao Paulo mayor Haddad as finance minister

BRASILIA - Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

picked a trusted ally

, former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, as his finance minister, ending days of speculation over a key appointment.

Lula also chose career diplomat Mauro Vieira as foreign minister, former Congressman Jose Mucio as defense minister, Bahia Governor Rui Costa as chief of staff and the former governor of Maranhao state Flavio Dino as justice minister.

Haddad is seen as a moderate within Lula's working party, although investors worry about the risk of his ministry overseeing unchecked social spending and a lack of fiscal discipline.

Haddad dismissed the reports of market fears as "fake news" and pointed to his record as Sao Paulo mayor, when the city bonds gained an investment grade rating. (Compiled by Steven Grattan; Editing by Frances Kerry and Diane Craft)

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