- - Monday, December 6, 2010

COLOMBIA

20 bodies recovered in landslide

BELLO | Colombian authorities said they recovered 20 bodies — including those of two children — after a landslide in a poor Medellin suburb and that more than 100 people were missing and feared dead.

Sunday’s landslide was triggered by Colombia’s worst rains in 40 years.

John Rendon, emergency coordinator for Antioquia state, where the suburb is located, said 30 homes were buried under tons of sodden earth in the slide.

Three hundred rescuers were working Monday to recover bodies from the debris. Nearly five out of every six municipalities in Antioquia have declared emergencies because of the rains.

The Red Cross said the death toll from floods and mudslides triggered by this year’s rainfall was 188, including the victims of Sunday’s slide.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

5 killed in boat capsize

TORTOLA | Authorities said at least five people died after a boat filled with migrants from Haiti capsized off the British Virgin Islands amid jagged reefs.

Virgin Islands Search and Rescue said in a statement that six people from the boat are still missing and three are hospitalized. The other survivors have been detained.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ricard Castrodad said the migrants’ boat had been spotted and authorities had been in pursuit Monday just before it struck the reef along the southern coast of Tortola.

MEXICO

Polls show PRI could return in 2012

MEXICO CITY | Mexico’s main opposition party is in good shape to return to power in 2012 in the country it ruled for seven decades, according to two polls published Monday.

A poll in daily El Universal showed 27.4 percent of voters would choose the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) if the 2012 presidential elections were held today.

President Felipe Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) would lag with 23.9 percent of the vote, the poll of 992 people showed, 1 percentage point down on the last poll in September. PRI support grew 2.5 percentage points in the same period.

A separate survey in Excelsior newspaper had similar results, with 51 percent of respondents saying there should be a change of government at the polls in July 2012.

Excelsior said 45 percent of the 400 interviewees thought a PRI return to power in 2012 would mean an improvement instead of a political setback.

Founded in 1929, the PRI was one of the world’s longest-ruling parties until the PAN ousted it in 2000.

ARGENTINA

Argentina recognizes Palestinian state

BUENOS AIRES | Argentina said Monday it recognizes a “free and independent” Palestinian state, days after Brazil took the same step, triggering sharp criticism from U.S. lawmakers and Israel.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner wrote to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas saying her country recognizes a Palestine as defined by the 1967 borders, officials said Monday.

Israel already has reacted with “sadness and disappointment” to Brazil’s declaration on the issue, saying it breached a 1995 agreement with the Palestinian Authority that any Palestinian state should only come about through negotiations.

From wire dispatches and staff reports