- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 9, 2005

PERU

Arrest ordered for GE executives

LIMA — A Peruvian judge has ordered the arrest of 23 current and former General Electric Co. executives on fraud charges in a case brought by a former sales representative, a court spokesman and the defense attorney said Friday.

The newspaper El Comercio said former General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch was among those named in the case.

The fraud charges stem from a suit brought by Guillermo Gonzales, a sales representative for the company from 1991 to 1998. Mr. Gonzales said he invested $10 million in a General Electric International Peru headquarters and assembly plant after a verbal promise from the company to renew his contract. He said the contract was terminated despite the agreement.

General Electric International Peru expressed outrage at the arrest order.

CHILE

Court orders probein to Pinochet accounts

SANTIAGO — Chile’s Supreme Court has ordered an investigation into the overseas bank accounts of former dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The court asked for the cooperation of several countries where Gen. Pinochet has accounts, including the United States, the newspaper La Nacion reported Friday.

In June, a lower Chilean court stripped the 89-year-old former strongman of his immunity from prosecution to face charges that he stole more than $17 million from the Chilean government during his 1973-90 reign.

VENEZUELA

Chavez accuses DEA of espionage

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of using its agents for espionage and said Venezuela was suspending cooperation with the U.S. agency.

Mr. Chavez, who regularly accuses the U.S. government of plotting against him, said, “The DEA isn’t absolutely necessary for the fight against drug trafficking.”

Mr. Chavez maintains that the DEA has been using the fight against drugs as a pretext to gather intelligence.

CUBA

‘Buena Vista’ singer dies at 78

HAVANA — Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer, known worldwide for his rendition of boleros, Afro-Cuban styles of music and recordings with the “Buena Vista Social Club” project, died at a Havana hospital on Saturday, his wife announced. He was 78.

Mr. Ferrer, who had just completed a monthlong tour of Europe, checked into hospital a few days ago with symptoms of gastroenteritis, said Caridad Diaz, his wife.

Mr. Ferrer was in semi- retirement and shining shoes for money when he was recruited to participate in the “Buena Vista Social Club” music sessions.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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