- The Washington Times - Monday, October 4, 2004


Lula’s party gains in local elections

BRASILIA — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s Workers’ Party more than doubled the number of municipalities it won in local elections, boosting the party’s clout across Brazil, results showed yesterday.

The strong showing compared with the last election four years ago was highlighted by the party’s grabbing six of Brazil’s 26 state capitals outright in Sunday’s first round of voting and forcing a runoff in another nine in a second round Oct. 31.

The party is expected to focus its second-round efforts on Sao Paulo, South America’s biggest city, where a Workers’ Party mayor, Marta Suplicy, won 35.8 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Jose Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, won 43.5 percent.

“I will now show more clearly the proposal we have for the people,” Mrs. Suplicy said yesterday.


Apathy blasted in Indian deaths

OTTAWA — Canadian officials and police are ignoring a spate of brutal attacks against Indian women, at least 500 of whom have vanished or been slain in the past 30 years, Amnesty International said yesterday.

In a stinging report, the human-rights group condemned what it said was Canada’s “terrible official indifference and apathy” toward Indian women, particularly those who end up in the sex trade.

“How many more lives must be lost? How many more indigenous women will be murdered, how many more will go missing before the Canadian and provincial governments are moved to action?” asked Amnesty Secretary-General Irene Khan.

The report “reveals an appalling state of racial discrimination and cultural prejudice, of economic deprivation and social marginalization, of official indifference and government failure,” she told a press conference in Ottawa.


Modern samurai dons emerald crown

BOGOTA — Eishy Hayata is a hero, and he wants the world to know it. He has made a movie about how he evolved from a penniless Japanese immigrant and former Los Angeles businessman to a pistol-packing heavyweight of Colombia’s profitable but dangerous emerald business.

“Emerald Cowboy,” which premiered in the United States in 2003 to ho-hum reviews, shows how Mr. Hayata, who came to Colombia in 1970 equipped with only rudimentary Spanish, wheeled, dealed and punched his way to a fortune.

Mr. Hayata wrote the script, footed the $2.5 million filming bill, co-directed and, naturally, played the starring role — as himself. The middle-aged tycoon held court to reporters at his downtown Bogota offices, where he buys raw stones from emerald dealers behind bulletproof doors. “Since 15 years ago, I’m the biggest emerald dealer in the world,” he said modestly.

Weekly notes

Self-exiled former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori yesterday denied in Tokyo a claim he had pocketed money from Japanese charities while in office, noting the accusation coincides with polls he says show he can make a presidential comeback in 2006. He was reacting to an accusation reportedly made by a Supreme Court justice in Peru, who claimed Mr. Fujimori had large illicit sums in his bank accounts far exceeding what he could have earned. … Two persons were killed and 80 injured when wooden stands at a rodeo in Ecuador collapsed and crushed the crowd, a police official said yesterday. Organizers packed the bleachers for Sunday’s rodeo in the coastal town of Naranjito, near the port city of Guayaquil. “It couldn’t support the weight, everything came down and people were crushed,” he said.

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