Ruben Blades will be Panama's new tourism minister, said President-elect Martin Torrijos.

Famed salsa musician Ruben Blades will be Panama's new tourism minister, said President-elect Martin Torrijos.

Torrijos, who takes office Sept. 1, announced Friday he would raise the Panamanian Tourism Institute to Cabinet level at the same time he named Blades to head it.

The singer/songwriter and Harvard-educated attorney ran for president in 1994 but decided to back Torrijos in this year's election. Blades, 56, had said he wanted to work with the justice system to improve prison conditions


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