- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Mexican 'maquiladora' in fact smuggling ring

MEXICO CITY Mexican authorities dismantled one of the country's biggest contraband rings and charged a businesswoman with tax fraud totaling 1 billion pesos, or $119 million.

Guadalupe Angelica Maya Villareal, legal representative of Hufher Mexicana in the west coast city of Manzanillo, was arrested by customs officials and agents from the attorney general's office, the Finance Ministry announced.

The business, posing as a maquiladora assembly plant, used false documentation to avoid paying taxes on hundreds of thousands of items of clothing from South Korea, Hong Kong, China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Panama, the ministry said.

Last allied minister quits De la Rua team

BUENOS AIRES Argentina's social development minister says he is quitting the government to protest deep cuts to social spending in next year's budget.

The resignation of Juan Pablo Cafiero was the latest blow to the coalition between the Radical Party of President Fernando De la Rua and the smaller, left-leaning Frepaso Party. Mr. Cafiero was the last Frepaso minister left in the Cabinet and it was thought his departure could mean Frepaso would leave the coalition.

Mr. Cafiero presented his resignation to Mr. De la Rua Friday, but the president had not accepted it and indicated he hoped Mr. Cafiero would change his mind. But Mr. Cafiero made it clear Sunday he would not change his mind.

Peru presses Japan to transfer Fujimori

SHANGHAI Peru urged Japan on Sunday to hand over its former president, Alberto Fujimori, who has been living in Tokyo since last year after resigning during a political uproar involving his former intelligence chief.

Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo said he had a "very frank" exchange with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during a 45-minute meeting at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here.

"It was a very productive meeting, very frank, tough sometimes, open, but with both sides showing an inclination to seize the bull by the horns," Mr. Toledo told reporters. Tokyo has insisted that it cannot extradite Mr. Fujimori because has been granted Japanese citizenship.

Weekly notes

The political party associated with the Irish Republican Army admitted in Belfast yesterday that a man arrested in Colombia in August was its representative in Cuba, reversing repeated denials. The Sinn Fein representative in Havana, Niall Connolly, was one of three Irishmen arrested in the departure lounge of Bogota's El Dorado airport on suspicion of training rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in making car bombs and other urban-warfare lore. Chilean President Ricardo Lagos arrived in Beijing yesterday at the start of a three-day state visit to China at the invitation of Chinese President Jiang Zemin, the official Xinhua news agency reported. He arrived from Shanghai, where he attended a weekend summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

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