- The Washington Times - Monday, December 4, 2000

Justice for Mexican

Jesus Reyes-Heroles got some good news on his last day as ambassador to the United States. A Texas court sentenced a U.S. federal agent to 15 years for shooting an illegal Mexican immigrant.

He called the court decision "a legal landmark for the protection of the civil rights of Mexican migrants."

The Texas district court of Dimmit, Maverick and Zavala counties last week sentenced Wilbur Honeycutt, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, for shooting Abecnego Monje on Jan. 25, 1999. Mr. Monje, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, was attempting to enter the United States illegally when Honeycutt shot him.

"During the trial, evidence showed Officer Honeycutt had a history of hostility toward Hispanics," Mr. Reyes-Heroles said in a statement.

The news came Thursday, the last day as ambassador for Mr. Reyes-Heroles and the last full day as president for Ernesto Zedillo, who appointed him to the Washington position in 1997. He said Mr. Zedillo had been pressing U.S. authorities for the prosecution of the DEA agent.

"It is very satisfactory to obtain such an achievement in the last day of his term," Mr. Reyes-Heroles said.

Greece, Turkey equal

The United States places equal importance on its relationship with Greece and Turkey, according to the U.S. ambassador to Greece.

Ambassador Nicolas Burns told a conference in Athens over the weekend that Washington tries to take a "balanced approach" to the two regional rivals.

"The issue is not what the U.S. does but what Greece and Turkey do," he was quoted as saying in Greek newspapers yesterday.

He said the United States and Greece have a "healthy relationship" that could become an "excellent" one if the two countries can resolve disagreements over issues such as terrorism. The United States has frequently criticized Greece for failing to do enough to combat terrorism.

Mr. Burns also took the opportunity to urge Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to participate in a new round of talks on Cyprus expected next month.

Mr. Denktash last week said the talks will continue to be a "waste of time" unless his government, recognized only by Turkey, receives equal status with the Greek-Cypriot administration, the internationally recognized government of Cyprus.

China watching

China may be watching democratic changes in Taiwan but probably is not understanding them, according to a former U.S. envoy to Taiwan.

Natale Bellocchi, who headed the American Institute in Taiwan, said China is "not aware that a transition to a new government, as chaotic and debilitating as it may seem, is actually a strengthening of a democratic system."

"People unfamiliar with a bureaucracy are brought into government, and though mistakes are made, they soon become a bank of experience and knowledge," he wrote in a recent edition of the Taipei Times.

Mr. Bellocchi noted that when the Clinton administration took office in 1993, Taiwan newspaper cartoonists portrayed the newcomers to foreign affairs as babies in diapers.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Ivan Zassoursky, journalism research professor at Moscow University, who addresses guests at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Tomorrow

• Farouk Kaddoumi, foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority, who visits the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine.

Wednesday

• Reginald Botero, director of Colombia's presidential program for human rights and humanitarian law, who addresses invited guests at American University.

• Mayor-elect Tarso Genro of Porto Alegre, Brazil, who is here for a major conference at the Brazilian Embassy.

Thursday

• Raul Belens Jungmann, Brazil's minister for agrarian development, who also arrives for the conference and other activities.

Friday

• Arminio Fraga, president of the Central Bank of Brazil, who discusses Brazil's economy at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

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