- The Washington Times - Monday, August 1, 2005

VENEZUELA

Chavez calls CAFTA a ‘perverse’ deal

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized a trade agreement that eliminates barriers between the United States and Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, saying Sunday it is a misguided deal that will harm the region’s small economies.

Mr. Chavez, a frequent critic of the U.S. government, also said he had read reports of President Bush “putting money in circulation to buy votes and to blackmail, through the so-called [U.S.] intelligence agencies, to approve an initiative which is perverse.”

The Central American Free Trade Agreement binds the United States and Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to a set of trade and investment rules.

BRAZIL

British police to pay for fatal mistake

LONDON — Britain’s Metropolitan Police could pay up to $1 million in damages to the family of the innocent Brazilian who was fatally shot in a bungled anti-terror chase in London, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The Daily Mail said John Yates, deputy assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard, was expected to make an initial payment to the family of electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, 27.

However, legal specialists quoted by the Daily Mail believe the force could end up paying up to $1 million to the impoverished family.

MEXICO

U.S. resident killed in police shooting

MEXICO CITY — A U.S. resident was fatally shot by a Mexican police officer in a settlement outside the Mexico border city of Ciudad Juarez, authorities said on Sunday.

Mexican authorities said the Saturday shooting happened when the officer lost his balance and fired by accident, moving to avoid a vehicle that had been pulled over for a traffic violation and unexpectedly started moving again.

Maria Guerrero, 29, a resident of New Mexico, was fatally shot in the back, said Chihuahua state police spokesman Carlos Gonzalez. The police officer was jailed pending an investigation.

The State Department last week renewed a travel advisory warning Americans about violence in Mexico.

COLOMBIA

Militia disarms to form political party

BOGOTA — Leaders of a Colombian right-wing paramilitary faction believed to be one of the most heavily involved in drug trafficking demobilized their troops on Saturday and said they wanted to form a political party.

Nearly 700 fighters in the “Southern Liberators” unit of the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces turned in their weapons at a ceremony in Tamiango, some 310 miles southwest of the Colombian capital, Bogota.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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