- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2003

PERU

Fujimori is No. 2 in presidential poll

LIMA — Former President Alberto Fujimori is among the favorites for the country’s top job in the 2006 election, despite abuse-of-power charges against him by Congress, according to a survey released yesterday.

Mr. Fujimori, now in Japan as Peru seeks his extradition for corruption, torture and crimes against humanity, came in second in the survey with 15.5 percent, trailing populist ex-President Alan Garcia, who drew 19.4 percent support, the CPI poll found.

Mr. Fujimori, who was in power from 1990 to 2000, is seen as a possible contender despite the fact lawmakers barred him from public office for 10 years after he was formally stripped of the president’s office in November 2000 following his resignation by fax from Tokyo.

MEXICO

Congress blocks Fox’s tax changes

MEXICO CITY — When he took office three years ago, President Vicente Fox was hailed as a pro-democracy hero for ending decades of one-party rule, but optimism faded as he failed to jump-start the economy.

Mr. Fox’s planned economic reforms got bogged down in Congress, and last week some 100,000 people held a protest in the center of the capital. Financial markets were shaken in the past week by a split in the main opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) over whether to support a plan by Mr. Fox to tax food and medicine.

BRAZIL

U.S. executive killed, wife in coma

RIO DE JANEIRO — An American executive with the Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell was killed in Rio de Janeiro under mysterious circumstances over the weekend, police said yesterday.

Police said they had no clues, but the fact that nothing was stolen and a sharp object was used as a weapon suggests a personal vendetta.

Todd Staheli and his wife, Michelle, both U.S. citizens, were found by their 10-year-old son inside their luxurious, guarded condominium in Rio’s upscale Barra da Tijuca neighborhood early Sunday, a Shell spokesman told Reuters. Mr. Todd, 39, bleeding from wounds that could have been from an ax, died moments afterward.

Weekly notes

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who enjoyed immense popularity in his first six months of power, faces voter anger and a split in his own party over his stance on street blockades by unemployed people demanding government handouts. Former President Eduardo Duhalde, a fellow Peronist and one of Argentina’s most powerful politicians, faults the government for acting with “kid gloves,” but Mr. Kirchner fears a crackdown could result in deaths, as happened last year. … British Columbia environmental groups reached agreement with four natural resources companies and two aboriginal groups yesterday to push the Canadian government to protect the country’s northern forest. They seek a network of preservation areas in the northern forest that stretches from Alaska to the Atlantic and is the breeding area for 30 percent of North America’s birds.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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