- The Washington Times - Monday, March 13, 2006


Hispanic teens stir gang violence

MADRID — A wave of violence and crime involving teenage gangs, which have surfaced along with an influx of Hispanic immigrants, is raising alarms.

In January, a youth was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to stab a rival gang member during street warfare. Two weeks later, 33 members of two gangs were arrested in Madrid after the slayings of two teens.

Last month, 15 youngsters suspected of involvement in a rape were arrested in Madrid. So far this year, 62 members of the biggest gang, known as the Latin Kings, have been arrested in the capital area.


Former guerrillas edge conservatives

SAN SALVADOR — Former leftist guerrillas claimed victory in legislative and local elections after a favorable exit poll, but early official returns indicate they are running neck and neck with the ruling conservatives.

“Projections leave no doubt that the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front [FMLN] has emerged as the leading political force in the country,” FMLN coordinator Medardo Gonzalez told reporters.

He described the vote as a defeat for the National Republican Alliance of President Elias Antonio Saca Gonzalez.


President Bachelet visits father’s grave

SANTIAGO — President Michelle Bachelet, on her first full day in office Sunday, paid a moving graveside tribute to her father, Alberto Bachelet, who died in prison 32 years ago after being tortured under dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Mrs. Bachelet, a divorced mother of three, was accompanied to the mausoleum by her mother, Angela Jeria.

A former political prisoner herself under Gen. Pinochet, Mrs. Bachelet later served as Chile’s first female defense minister. She was inaugurated Sunday as the country’s first female president.

Weekly notes …

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist candidate leading Mexico’s presidential race, boasted Sunday that he is “politically indestructible” as his party won ground in local elections in a key state. “When you have ideals, when you are not moved by ambition, power or money, you are politically invulnerable,” the former mayor of Mexico City told a rally in Cuautla. … Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Canadian troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan, yesterday and was to travel to Kabul for a meeting with President Hamid Karzai, officials said. Canada has 2,300 troops in southern Afghanistan, and some Canadian opposition politicians question their presence.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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