- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 26, 2008

VENEZUELA

‘Anarchists’ blamed for Caracas attack

CARACAS — Venezuela’s justice minister yesterday blamed “anarchists” for an explosion that killed one man at the offices of Venezuela’s leading business chamber, and he vowed to capture those responsible.

“We know who they are, and we know the game they want to play,” Justice Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin said.

The blast near the entrance of the Fedecamaras business chamber headquarters in Caracas killed a man suspected of trying to plant the bomb early Sunday.

The explosion was the fifth reported this month in the Venezuelan capital. In several of them, authorities found scattered pamphlets linking the bombings to a group identified as “Venceremos of the United Center-Left.”

BRAZIL

Global fraud ring cracked; 32 held

SAO PAULO — Brazilian and U.S. investigators said yesterday they have broken a sophisticated international ring that made millions defrauding individuals and companies in Australia, Britain, Spain, the United States and Asia.

Thirty persons were arrested in Brazil and two Brazilians were arrested by the FBI in Miami, the Brazilian federal police said in a statement.

The network, whose base of operations used to be an office in Sao Paulo before moving to Buenos Aires, employed telemarketers of various nationalities to flog nonexistent investments on financial markets. The scam raised about $50 million over the past five years, the police said.

MEXICO

Defeated leftist leads protest

MEXICO CITY — Eighteen months after he crippled the capital with protests over a razor-thin 2006 election defeat, Mexican leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was back on the street Sunday vowing to fight any move to end the state monopoly on oil.

Mr. Obrador, who claimed he was robbed of the presidency by electoral fraud in July 2006, mustered thousands of protesters outside state oil firm Pemex’s 52-story headquarters to slam fledgling proposals to allow private investment in oil.

The firebrand leftist told the crowd that if rallies did not work, they would take over the Mexico City airport, highways and the stock exchange and hold a national strike.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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