- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Presidency awaits late-November runoff

QUITO — After a tight weekend election, the battle for Ecuador’s presidency was headed for a Nov. 26 runoff between a conservative tycoon who favors close links to the United States and a leftist ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Alvaro Noboa, one of Ecuador’s wealthiest men with holdings in bananas, coffee and banking, led former finance minister Rafael Correa after Sunday’s vote, but neither had won an outright victory, according to preliminary results.

Mr. Noboa won about 27 percent of votes and Mr. Correa won 22 percent, according to preliminary results from more than 70 percent of ballot boxes. Under Ecuadorean law, candidates need 50 percent of the votes or 40 percent of votes with a 10-percentage-point advantage over the nearest rival to win the presidency in the first round.


Warlord killed many during peace talks

BOGOTA — Files found in the laptop computer of a right-wing Colombian warlord show how he kept up his life of extortion and killings even while he was negotiating peace with the government.

The computer, which investigators seized, contains details of 558 slayings ordered by Colombian paramilitary chief Rodrigo Tovar, aka”Jorge 40,” who is now in custody.

The evidence showed long-suspected links between paramilitaries and officials as high as Congress.


Auto club urges members to drive less

OTTAWA — The Canadian Automobile Association urged its members yesterday to spend less time behind the wheel, saying this would help reduce climate change and improve air quality.

The club, which has 4.7 million members, also backed the idea of mandatory fuel-efficiency standards for carmakers. It said Canadians need to “change their behavior and mind-set” by carpooling, car-sharing and using public transportation.

Weekly notes …

Former Peruvian President Valentin Paniagua, who helped stabilize the country after a corruption scandal felled his predecessor, Alberto Fujimori, in 2000, died yesterday of heart complications. Mr. Paniagua, 70, a centrist politician with a reputation for honesty, governed as interim leader from November 2000 until an election in July 2001. … The lawyer for the founder of Peru’s Shining Path Maoist rebel group said Saturday he was appealing the leader’s life sentence for terrorist acts committed during the 12-year insurgency that cost nearly 70,000 lives. Abimael Guzman, 71, was found guilty of aggravated terrorism by a civilian court and sentenced Friday, ending a yearlong retrial. His longtime lover and second-in-command, Elena Iparraguirre, 59, also received a life term.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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