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Police in the South American country are preparing to buy and train new animals to replace the force’s three sniffer dogs — two at the main international airport and one at police headquarters, Police Chief Henry Greene said.

The government began a security review last week after U.S. officials complained about a large number of cocaine-filled suitcases from Guyana intercepted in American cities. One suitcase seized last month at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport contained 50 pounds of cocaine.

U.S. authorities say the former British colony bordering Venezuela is a transit point for cocaine bound for Europe, West Africa and North America.


Drug ballad singer gunned down

CULIACAN | A Mexican singer famous for ballads lauding drug traffickers was fatally shot on the way to a concert in northwestern Mexico, officials said Monday.

Unidentified attackers fired several times on Sergio Vega, or “El Shaka,” in his car late Saturday as he was traveling to a concert in Sinaloa state, deputy local prosecutor Ramon Ignacio Rodrigo told journalists.

Moments earlier, the 40-year-old singer had asked a friend to call police because his car was being followed, according to the national Reforma daily.

Although the motive for the attack was unclear, El Shaka was famous for singing “narcocorridos” — ballads lauding the exploits of drug traffickers — in Sinaloa, the state at the heart of Mexico’s illegal drug industry.

From wire dispatches and staff reports