- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PERU

Fujimori minister found guilty

LIMA — Peru’s Supreme Court has convicted a former economy minister of misappropriating state funds during the administration of Alberto Fujimori, the government said Saturday.

Jorge Baca Campodonico, who was extradited earlier this year from Argentina to stand trial, was found guilty Friday of diverting $59.4 million in state funds to bail out a private bank. He was given a three-year suspended sentence, which requires that he serve no prison time, fined more than $666,000 and barred from holding public office for a year, according to the official government gazette, El Peruano.

Baca Campodonico appealed the court’s ruling.

ECUADOR

Anti-drug air base pact to be ended

QUITO — The Ecuadorean government on Friday insisted on ending a cooperation agreement with the United States that allows the U.S. military to use a coastal air force base for anti-drug operations in the Andes.

“Our decision to put an end to the use of the base in Manta in 2009 is inalterable and irreversible,” Galo Mora, a representative of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, told participants at a solidarity forum with Cuba.

The 10-year agreement, signed by the United States and Ecuador in 1999, allows Washington to deploy up to 475 military personnel in Manta in support of counternarcotics operations.

CUBA

Trip to dentist finds problems

HAVANA — Cuban dentistry is marked by a lack of dentists, technicians, materials and even reclining chairs, an official newspaper reported Sunday.

Reporters from the Juventud Rebelde, or Rebel Youth, fanned out to 22 dental clinics in various provinces only to discover the problems were the norm, not the exception in the free system of more than 1,000 facilities.

Other problems included services provided through underground clinics — at a price — and patients waiting for hours in offices with little air conditioning and few toilet facilities.

BOLIVIA

Justices quit in political battle

LA PAZ — Two of five justices on Bolivia’s highest court resigned Friday, a victory for President Evo Morales in a nearly yearlong struggle for control of the Andean country’s judicial branch.

But the departure of two judges named by previous conservative governments does not guarantee that Mr. Morales can tilt the Constitutional Tribunal in his favor before it is expected to hear challenges to several of the populist president’s key reforms next year.

New appointees will still require two-thirds approval in a fiercely divided Congress, where both Mr. Morales backers and his opposition are prepared for a bitter nomination fight.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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