- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CANADA

Aboriginal jurist leads abuse probe

OTTAWA — Canada yesterday appointed the nation’s top aboriginal jurist to head a probe of boarding-school abuses of Indians, who blame the schools for their misery and loss of culture over more than a century.

“All of us aboriginal people in some way have been impacted by the Indian residential school tragedy,” said Justice Harry LaForme, who was appointed by Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl to chair the landmark Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Tremendous harm has been done to relationships within and between individuals, families, communities, peoples, churches and government,” he said.

Since 1874, aboriginals, Inuit and Metis children in Canada were forcibly enrolled in boarding schools run by Christian churches on behalf of the government in a misguided effort to assimilate them.

BRAZIL

Navy suspends search for priest

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s navy dropped its search for a Roman Catholic priest who vanished more than a week ago while floating over the Atlantic with a cluster of party balloons, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

The Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli, 41, has been missing since April 20, shortly after he lifted off from the southern port city of Paranagua strapped to 1,000 helium-filled balloons. He had been trying to raise money to build a rest stop and worship center for truckers.

Navy spokeswoman Lt. Catia Sandri said the hunt, conducted with one helicopter and two boats, was called off over the weekend because no sign of the priest was found after 135 hours of searching.

She said that several private fishing boats continued to keep watch but that the chances of finding Father de Carli alive in the ocean are “very remote.” The air force ended its four-day search for the priest Thursday after its planes covered more than 1,900 square miles of land and sea.

ARGENTINA

Peron extradition request rejected

MADRID — Spain’s National Court yesterday rejected a request from Buenos Aires for the extradition of former Argentine President Isabel Peron on charges of human rights abuses.

In two rulings, the court said that the charges did not constitute crimes against humanity and that the statute of limitations for the offenses of which Mrs. Peron is accused expired after 20 years. The rulings may be appealed.

Mrs. Peron, whose full name is Maria Estela Martinez Cartas de Peron, was at the court to hear the decision. Mrs. Peron, 77, declined to speak to reporters when leaving the building.

Spain received two extradition requests from Argentine judges who want to question Mrs. Peron regarding death-squad activity during her rule and the disappearance of two young leftists — Hector Aldo Fagetti Gallego and Jorge Valentin Beron — in 1976.

Argentine prosecutors said at least 1,500 people were killed or disappeared as a result of the Argentine Anti-communist Alliance during Mrs. Peron’s 1974-76 rule. Mrs. Peron, the third wife of President Juan Domingo Peron, ruled Argentina for 20 chaotic months after the strongman’s death.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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