- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Bogota rules out hostage missions

BOGOTA — Colombia will allow no more international missions seeking the release of hostages held by leftist rebels after a Venezuela-led plan dissolved in a flurry of accusations last week, the government said yesterday.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, promised last month to turn three of its captives over to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The mission to pick up the captives brought foreign envoys, including former Argentine leader Nestor Kirchner, to Colombia but it crumbled on New Year’s Eve with Mr. Chavez and the FARC accusing the government of ordering disruptive army operations in the area where the turnover was to take place. It turned out that one hostage, a young child named Emmanuel who was born in captivity to a kidnapped mother and a rebel father, had been freed in 2005 and was living in a Bogota foster home.


Judge suspends Fujimori trial

LIMA — The trial of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori for human rights violations was abruptly suspended yesterday owing to the illness of Mr. Fujimori’s attorney, Cesar Nakasaki.

Mr. Fujimori is on trial on charges of being behind an army hit squad that killed 25 persons in massacres in 1991 and 1992.

Prosecutors called Mr. Nakasaki’s absence an “obstructionist maneuver.”


Former official charged in scandal

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s former economy minister was charged yesterday with trying to cover up the discovery of a bagful of cash she stashed in her office bathroom.

Felisa Miceli now faces prosecution on charges of purported cover-up and destruction of evidence. Ms. Miceli resigned July 16 after a routine security inspection turned up $64,000 in Argentine and U.S. currency in a brown paper bag stashed in her office bathroom.

She said she meant to buy real estate with the cash, but her busy schedule kept her from banking the money.


Two soldiers killed in Afghanistan

OTTAWA — Two Canadian soldiers were killed late Sunday when their light armored vehicle rolled over while crossing difficult terrain, the Defense Ministry said yesterday.

The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. local time in Nalgham, in the Zhari district, 25 miles southwest of Kandahar City, said the Department of National Defense in a statement.

The pair was participating in an operation aimed at disrupting insurgent activities in the region and establishing a permanent coalition presence in the area.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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