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Senior US diplomat for Latin America to resign

The top US diplomat in charge of Latin American affairs will leave his post at mid-year and return to the world of academia, State Department sources told AFP on Thursday.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela speaks during a press conference in February 2011. The top US diplomat in charge of Latin American affairs will leave his post at mid-year and return to the world of academia, State Department sources told AFP on Thursday.

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela took a two-year leave from his job at Georgetown University to take the government position in November 2009.

Now Valenzuela has decided to return to Georgetown, the sources told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

There is no final date for his departure, and no replacement has been named, the sources said.

Before taking the government job, the Chilean-born Valenzuela was head of the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University and served as a special adviser on Latin American affairs during president Bill Clinton's second term in office (1997-2001).

Valenzuela is a specialist on the origins and consolidation of democracy, Latin American politics, and US-Latin American relations.

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