- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2006

CANADA

Draft dodgers hold reunion

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Scores of Americans who dodged Vietnam-era military conscription wrapped up a four-day reunion Sunday, as controversy followed them even to the remote reaches of Canada’s westernmost province.

Organizers of the event in southeast British Columbia had hoped to honor war resisters with a public sculpture. But after protests by U.S. conservatives and a veterans organization, Canadian politicians and business officials in the provincial town of Nelson refused to allow the sculpture to be placed on public land.

Eventually the statue was erected on private land in Nelson, and opened at a weekend ceremony. More than 300 people attended the conference. Former U.S. Sen. George McGovern, South Dakota Democrat, who unsuccessfully campaigned for president on a peace platform in 1972, gave the keynote address.

VENEZUELA

Chavez willing to meet with Garcia

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday he would be willing to meet with Peruvian President-elect Alan Garcia despite weeks of hostile exchanges between the two.

The two nations withdrew their respective ambassadors after a volley of insults during Mr. Garcia’s electoral campaign, but Mr. Garcia recently said he would be willing to meet with Mr. Chavez to ease tension.

While Mr. Chavez has promised a socialist revolution to end poverty and unite Latin America, Mr. Garcia is pitching himself as a center-left moderate who can check Mr. Chavez’ growing influence in the region.

MEXICO

Ex-president freed in genocide case

MEXICO CITY — A federal judge threw out genocide charges on Saturday against former President Luis Echeverria, ruling that a 30-year statute of limitations had run out, his attorney said.

Mr. Echeverria, 84, had been under house arrest for more than a week on charges that he organized a student massacre as interior secretary in 1968. He went on to become president from 1970 to 1976.

The charges were the first to have been filed against a former Mexican president.

Weekly notes …

The Brazilian Labor Ministry, through a link on its official Web site, advises prostitutes how to attract better customers through perfumes and then to properly invest their savings, the Estado newspaper reported Saturday. The ministry shut down the link immediately after being approached for an explanation by the daily. Prostitution is not considered a crime in Brazil, although the country is battling a widespread child prostitution problem through new legislation. … A 9-year-old girl of the Apurina tribe in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest gave birth to a baby earlier this week and doctors said Friday police were investigating whether she was raped. Police have asked anthropologists from the National Indian Foundation to help investigate Apurina tribal customs regarding sex with young girls. The 9-year-old mother, who is only 4.2 feet tall, and the baby girl are reported to be well.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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