Facebook has scored a major victory in the recruitment battle for top talent by luring Google’s top executive in Latin America, Alexandre Hohagen to become vice president for sales in the region.

The social network had announced the hire in a press release distributed in Hohagen’s native country of Brazil last week, and the New York Times wrote the first English language story about it today.

Hohagen had helped build Google’s Latin American presence over the past six years, and has served as a general manager in Brazil before becoming the head of the search engine’s entire operation in Latin America.

Facebook has about 12.4 million users in Brazil, according to comScore measurements based on December. But Google’s Orkut has 32.7 million Brazilian users. A year ago, Orkut’s membership in Brazil was seven times that of Facebook, which has since then more than doubled its reach in the country. These trends make Hohagen’s move from Google to Facebook all the more strategic and, well, a strong statement.

What do you think this recruitment move and Facebook’s reach in Latin America?