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PANAMA

Fisherman sues cruise line for not helping

PANAMA CITY — A Panamanian man who watched his two companions die while surviving at sea for 28 days in their small disabled boat has sued a U.S. cruise line because one of its ships failed to help, his attorney said Sunday.

Attorney Edna Ramos said the lawsuit alleging negligence by Princess Cruise Lines was filed in a Florida state court on behalf of Adrian Vazquez.

The 18-year-old Vazquez and companions Fernando Osorio, 16, and Elvis Oropeza, 31, set off for a night of fishing Feb. 24 from Rio Hato, a small fishing and farming town on the Pacific coast of Panama that was once the site of a U.S. Army base guarding the Panama Canal.

The boat’s motor broke down on the way back, and the men drifted at sea for 16 days before seeing a cruise ship approach March 10.

Mr. Vazquez has said the men signaled for help, but the ship did not stop.

Princess Cruises has said passengers never told the ship’s captain they saw a boat.

Osorio and Oropeza died later. Mr. Vazquez was rescued March 22 near Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, more than 600 miles from where they had set out.

Ms. Ramos said the lawsuit includes testimony from two cruise ship passengers who have said they saw the disabled boat and reported it to a cruise representative on the Star Princess liner.

COLOMBIA

Red Cross official hopeful over reporter’s release

BOGOTA — A Red Cross official said Monday he is optimistic that communist rebels will soon release kidnapped French journalist Romeo Langlois.

“Romeo Langlois is hurt and must be released and returned to his family right away,” said Daniel Munoz, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, after rebels of the Armed Revolutionary Front of Colombia announced they plan to free the reporter.

Mr. Munoz, a correspondent for the France 24 TV channel, was captured April 28 during a battle between Colombian troops and the rebels.

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