- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2006


Japanese diplomats visit freed Fujimori

SANTIAGO — Two Japanese diplomats have visited former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori at a Santiago residence after his release on bail from a Chilean jail, El Mercurio newspaper reported yesterday.

The unidentified embassy officials went to see Mr. Fujimori, 67, on Sunday at the house in a wealthy east Santiago neighborhood. He had been jailed in Chile for six months pending an extradition request from Peru on charges related to his 1990-2000 presidency.


Political corruption blamed for violence

SAO PAULO — Furious over a surge of gang violence here in the nation’s largest city, Brazilians protested throughout the country Sunday, and many blamed corruption for the bloodshed that killed 172 persons.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made his first visit to Sao Paulo since a wave of gang attacks on police and said such violence could not be stopped by simply beefing up police presence.

Sunday was declared a “Day of National Dignity” by demonstrators who gathered in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other major cities to protest the failure of politicians to crack down on organized crime.


Bachelet promises jobs, health, schools

SANTIAGO — President Michelle Bachelet said Sunday that Chile will use money from its copper industry to advance her social agenda, creating 130,000 jobs while investing in health, housing and education.

In her first state-of-the nation address, Chile’s first female president said the big spending plans don’t mean the government will abandon fiscal discipline. She promised to maintain annual budget surpluses of at least 1 percent of gross domestic product.

Addressing Congress in Valparaiso, Mrs. Bachelet, a divorcee, vowed to seek justice for human rights violations during the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Weekly notes …

Two Colombian soldiers and at least one civilian were killed Sunday, a week before elections, when rebels attacked an army patrol escorting technicians fixing a downed electrical tower, officials said yesterday. The patrol was blasted by seven explosives in an ambush as it passed by a school in Cauca in the south of the country. … Airline officials in Venezuela said yesterday that flights to the United States had resumed after a cloud of volcanic ash in the Caribbean suspended some weekend flights. The local American Airlines chief said a flight to Miami left early yesterday and later scheduled flights to Puerto Rico and New York were on track. Venezuela’s largest carrier, Aeropostal, said it hoped to restore full operations between Caracas and Miami before today.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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