- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Peace panel seeking accord for Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia A peace commission will urge warring parties in this country's decades-old armed conflict to declare a cease-fire, reports El Tiempo, Colombia's leading newspaper.

If accepted, the proposal would require the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to renounce extortion and kidnapping. It would oblige the government to curb violence sponsored by paramilitary militias and to halt indiscriminate fumigation of drug crops.

The drug sprayings funded through part of a $1.3 billion U.S. aid package are the backbone of Washington's drug war in Colombia, the world's biggest supplier of cocaine. The sprayings are a prerequisite of further U.S. support.

Hurricane Juliette grows off Guerrero

MEXICO CITY Hurricane Juliette was growing to enormous proportions yesterday but was moving slowly away from Mexico's vulnerable Pacific coast and was unlikely to approach the United States.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that Juliette had sustained winds of 145 mph, making it a very strong Category 4 hurricane. It was likely to gain even more force, forecasters said.

The storm was 275 miles south of Manzanillo off Guerrero and heading west-northwest at 3 mph. Forecasters said the storm could shift to a more northwest track running parallel to the coast.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 160 miles.

Argentines, Chileans sympathize with U.S.

BUENOS AIRES Tens of thousands of people in Latin America held peace rallies over the weekend, denouncing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States and calling for U.S. restraint.

In Argentina's northeastern city of Corrientes, 200,000 young pilgrims gathered Sunday to call for "life and peace" as they marched to the nearby shrine of the Virgin of Itati, organizers said.

In Chile, 50,000 people took over a park in Santiago for what President Ricardo Lagos, addressing the crowd, said was "an expression of Chile's moral unity." After a minute of silence, Mr. Lagos condemned the "mass murders" at New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Weekly notes

The brother of terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden is Brazil's representative in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, a Brazilian magazine reports. Khalil Mohammed bin Laden has been Brazil's honorary consul in Jeddah since 1988, according to the weekly Veja. Mr. bin Laden is married to a Brazilian, Isabel Cristina Bayma; they met while studying in the United States, Veja said. Roman Catholic Archbishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia of Mexico has been awarded Nuremberg, Germany's, human-rights prize for seeking the rights of the Maya Indians of Chiapas state. In announcing the award recently, the jury said Archbishop Ruiz Garcia, 76, has "become a world symbol in the fight [for the recognition] of indigenous peoples."

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