- The Washington Times - Monday, April 3, 2006


Many colleagues of Pinochet convicted

SANTIAGO — Many people around the world recognize the name Augusto Pinochet, and many know that Chile’s courts have failed to convict the ex-dictator on charges of human rights abuses committed during his 1973-90 military rule.

What is not well-known is that although cases against Gen. Pinochet, 90, are stalled, partly because of his ill health, in recent years Chile’s courts have quietly convicted 94 generals, colonels and other officers for torture, assassination and “disappearance” of political prisoners.

The former head of Gen. Pinochet’s secret service is in jail with two dozen others, and more than 400 other former members of state security forces are under investigation or indictment. This year, judges expect to issue a flood of new convictions and rule on appeals of sentences.


Presidential hopefuls see youth vote as key

MEXICO CITY — One presidential candidate compares himself to Mexico’s under-17 soccer team. Another’s campaign features students, rock bands and dancers. A third hosts rallies in trendy nightclubs.

The three leading candidates in the July 2 presidential election all agree on one point: With two-thirds of Mexico’s 106 million people younger than 30, the youth vote is critical. It tipped the balance in the last presidential election in 2000, when nearly 60 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds who voted picked Vicente Fox, whose victory ended seven decades of one-party rule.

In July, these voters will decide whether they want to maintain the pro-business line of Mr. Fox’s National Action Party, turn to the leftist vision of Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador or return to the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ran the country for most of the past century.


Michigan laws a threat to waste disposal

TORONTO — New rules, extra inspections and the threat of a 3,500 percent fee increase hang over the shipment of tons of Canadian waste to dumping grounds in Michigan, raising fears of a ban or trade war.

Toronto has been shipping trash to Michigan since 1998 and sends out about a million tons a year. Combined with commercial and industrial waste from the city and other parts of Ontario province, it adds up to nearly 4 million tons — 18.6 percent — of the trash in Michigan landfills.

That annoys some in Michigan, and spooks many in Toronto. “If the border to Michigan closes, we will have waste not being picked up on the streets within 72 hours because there will be no place to take it,” said Rob Cook, president of the private-sector Ontario Waste Management Association. “It’s very scary for us and very scary for residents.”

Weekly notes …

Peru’s presidential election, which begins Sunday, is likely to install another leftist-nationalist in Latin America who will worry the United States. Ollanta Humala leads in polls before the first-round vote, but with a crowded race to replace President Alejandro Toledo, a runoff between Mr. Humala and whoever comes in second seems inevitable. In a poll last Sunday, Mr. Humala, 43, held 32.6 percent of the vote, far from the 50 percent needed to win. … Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has shut down a pipeline in which $3 billion in criminal profits flowed via a major New York bank to Middle East terrorists, the New York Post reported yesterday. Mr. Morgenthau refused to identify it, but termed it “one of the largest and most prominent banks in New York,” the newspaper said in a report from Washington. His three-year probe may seek penalties against the bank for maintaining an account from where funds that originated in the lawless tri-border region of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay were rerouted to suspect accounts in the Middle East. Most of the $3 billion came from crimes and went to bank accounts in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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