- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2001

British passport found after clash in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia Government troops found the passport of a 28-year-old Briton on the body of a man killed in combat Sunday, the army and the British Embassy said yesterday.

Colombian troops recovered two bodies one a suspected guerrilla without papers and the other carrying a British passport issued to a man named Jeremy Parks after a battle with Cuban-inspired ELN rebels, the army said in a statement.

The passport was found on the body of a headless man, making it difficult to confirm whether it was Mr. Parks, an embassy spokeswoman said. "It is possible [the dead combatant] was only carrying his papers," she said.

Rio jailbreak frees 'Little Daddy'

RIO DE JANEIRO In a scene straight out of Hollywood, a gang of heavily armed men rammed a truck into the wall of a prison in the center of Rio yesterday and freed 14 inmates.

The gang blocked traffic with one truck and hijacked an urban bus to block traffic coming from the other direction before tearing through the wall at the Polinter prison before dawn, officials said.

The truck punched a hole in the prison wall, through which the prisoners fled on foot, officials said. A police spokesman said they suspect the gang of 15 men was trying to spring a Colombian drug dealer called Papito ("Little Daddy"), a major Rio drug dealer among the prisoners who escaped.

Havana scales back 2001 growth forecast

HAVANA Cuba said on Sunday that it had reduced its 2001 growth forecast to 4 percent because of the attacks on New York and Washington, and denounced the U.S. war in Afghanistan as another form of terrorism.

Vice President Carlos Lage, speaking to reporters at a trade fair, gave Havana's clearest indication yet of how the fall both in tourism and in cash remittances by Cuban Americans was harming the island's fragile economy.

The Communist-ruled island, still recovering from a crisis caused by the Soviet collapse a decade ago, had expected 5 percent growth in gross domestic product this year after a 5.6 percent rise in 2000.

"We will have growth that I think, in this circumstance, can be estimated at about 4 percent, which, for our conditions and the state of the international economy, is a great effort," said Mr. Lage.

Weekly notes

Peruvian authorities have suspended a judge overseeing corruption charges against executives of Chilean pasta maker Lucchetti in a case linked to former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos. The newspaper Liberacion said Judge Jorge Barreto, one of six special anti-corruption judges investigating reports about Mr. Montesinos, was suspended for 30 days without pay by a judicial council in Lima for negligence in saying prematurely that three Lucchetti figures would not be tried. Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad yesterday in Damascus to rein in Palestinian groups that advocate struggle against Israel. Touring the Middle East to back a U.S.-led anti-terrorism campaign, Mr. Manley said: "Canada believes that violence simply leads to more violence."

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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