- The Washington Times - Monday, June 28, 2004

BRAZIL

Japanese politician woos immigrant vote

SAO PAULO — An unusual campaign for Japan’s upcoming House of Councilors election took place in Sao Paulo on Sunday when Michio Takakura, 63, made a political speech as samba dancers performed by his side, Kyodo News reports.

Mr. Takakura, a candidate of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, spoke in Japanese atop a sound truck in downtown Sao Paulo as puzzled passers-by stopped to watch.

Mr. Takakura, a Japanese who has been living in Paraguay for 28 years and hopes to be elected a representative for overseas Japanese around the globe, arrived in San Paulo after a stop in Los Angeles in search of votes.

HAITI

Ex-premier yields to interim regime

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Former Premier Yvon Neptune has emerged from hiding and surrendered to authorities, who accuse him of orchestrating the deaths of political opponents in February in the city of St. Marc, the Miami Herald reported yesterday.

Mr. Neptune had been in hiding since helping in the transition from Haiti’s former government to the administration of interim Premier Gerard Latortue, after armed rebels forced elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resign.

Mr. Aristide is now in asylum in South Africa.

COLOMBIA

Joint raids smash drug cartel; 87 held

BOGOTA — U.S. and Colombian authorities have broken up a Caribbean drug cartel that used speedboats to ship 94 tons of cocaine a year to the United States, Colombian police said Sunday.

In two raids, Colombian police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) arrested 29 persons in Colombia, 43 in the Bahamas, two in Panama, two in Jamaica, five in Canada and six in the United States, authorities said.

The United States is requesting the extradition of seven Colombians, including the cartel’s suspected leader, Elias Cobos Munoz, and his brother Hernando Cobos Munoz, police said.

Weekly notes

A prosecutor in Peru said Friday that former President Alberto Fujimori’s eldest daughter, Keiko, deserves five years behind bars for giving to a charity $318,000 worth of U.S.-donated clothing sent for flood victims while she served as Peru’s first lady after her parents divorced. A Fujimori spokesman said the charges were political persecution to try to stop Miss Fujimori from running for political office. Miss Fujimori, a student in New York, arrived in Lima last week to marry American Mark Vito this week. … Ecuador’s state prosecutor requested a trial against the country’s former ambassador to Argentina, who is accused of helping an Argentine “dirty war” general violate house arrest. Ex-Ambassador Germanico Molina is charged with “evasion” for reportedly helping Gen. Carlos Guillermo Suarez Mason leave his home to attend a party in January.

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