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Last police officer in border town missing

CIUDAD JUAREZ | The last remaining police officer in the Mexican border town of Guadalupe has disappeared.

A spokesman for prosecutors in northern Chihuahua state says a search has started for 28-year-old Ericka Gandara, who hasn’t been seen since Dec. 23.

Some local media have reported Officer Gandara was kidnapped, but spokesman Arturo Sandoval says her relatives have not filed a kidnap complaint.

Mr. Sandoval said Tuesday the search was started as a missing-person case. The same day she disappeared, assailants also set fire to the home of a Guadalupe town councilwoman.

Drug cartels have fought bloody battles for control of the Juarez Valley where Guadalupe is located, leading most police officers there to resign.


U.S. plans push to ban fissile material

BERLIN | The United States plans to revive diplomatic efforts next year to halt production of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium, a special adviser to President Obama told a German newspaper.

“Regarding the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, we are trying to reinstate negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and will launch an initiative next year,” Gary Samore, White House coordinator for arms control, told the newspaper the Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an article published on Tuesday.

“Even if we succeed, however, it will take years until the negotiations are completed. The same goes for any further disarmament deals with Russia,” he continued, adding that the political realities by then could be completely different.

Mr. Samore expected the U.S. administration to submit the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to the Senate next year for ratification, but he refrained from giving a forecast on the outcome of a vote.

“We will present our arguments next year, but we do not know if they will have the desired effect,” he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports