- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Death of drug lord still unconfirmed
MEXICO CITY For nearly a decade, elusive and violent drug lord Ramon Arellano Felix existed largely as a blurry photograph on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list. Two weeks after his reported death in a shootout with police, he is hard to pin down.
Authorities have been trying to confirm that the gunman killed in the shootout was Arellano Felix, but they can't find the body, and now they say it was cremated.
The corpse was picked up from a funeral home in Sinaloa state by a man using false identification who claimed to be the cousin of a dead man. Legal experts found it strange that the body was released before a full autopsy.

Venezuelan oil firm to short its contract
CARACAS, Venezuela The state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela has declared "force majeure" on some of its crude-oil loadings in efforts to comply with the country's new, lower Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries quota, sources said yesterday.
Force majeure, a legal term indicating "beyond our control," is normally applicable when unforeseen events such as the outbreak of war, earthquakes or floods prevent a party from meeting its obligations.

Cuban dissidents blocked from rite
HAVANA A score of Cuban dissidents were arrested Sunday for trying to commemorate the 1996 shoot-down of four Cuban exile pilots.
"There were around 20 arrests in Havana, most for a few hours, though four people remain in jail," Elizardo Sanchez of the dissident Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation said Sunday night.
About a dozen people were picked up in the morning as they tried to reach a beach in the Miramar district to throw flowers in the sea, Mr. Sanchez added.

Argentines flee worsening economy
BUENOS AIRES About 140,000 Argentines have emigrated to escape the country's worsening economic conditions in 2000-2001, according to yesterday's Pagina 12 newspaper.
In January this year, nearly 23,000 Argentines, most of them young people, left the country, the paper said.
The United States announced last week it would require Argentines to obtain visas before entering because the deteriorating economic conditions in their country increased the chances they would stay in the United States illegally.

Weekly notes
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he hopes that peace will come one day to war-torn neighboring Colombia, and that Venezuela will celebrate when that happens. "I send an infinite wish for peace to our brothers, the people of Colombia," Mr. Chavez said during his Sunday "Hello President" television and radio broadcast. … Fallen Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi swore to God and by her soul on Sunday that her pregnancy was not a "trick" to avoid extradition from Brazil and pleaded for better conditions to nurse her newborn. In her first interview since the Feb. 18 birth of Angel Gabriel, a teary-eyed Miss Trevi, 32, told Globo television she would not use her baby's Brazilian nationality to avoid extradition to Mexico, where she is accused of turning aspiring female singers into sex slaves of her ex-manager.


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