- - Monday, January 10, 2011


OAS: Candidate should miss runoff

PORT-AU-PRINCE | An international monitoring team will recommend that Haiti’s government-backed candidate be eliminated from a presidential runoff election in favor of a popular musician who finished a close third in the contested official results, according to a copy of its report obtained Monday by the Associated Press.

The report by a team from the Organization of American States (OAS) was to be presented on Monday to Haitian President Rene Preval.

The report had not been released publicly, but the AP obtained a copy, and a foreign official with direct knowledge of the report confirmed its conclusions. A second foreign official confirmed that the report was in its final stages of editing and translation into French, but that the conclusion would stand.

Haitian electoral officials must make the final decision on what to do, but the team’s recommendations could weigh heavily. Three candidates think they should advance to a second-round vote. Rioting broke out in several Haitian cities when the preliminary results were announced.

Mr. Preval is not expected to respond publicly until after the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake on Wednesday.


Man slain on highway; 31 dead in 4 days

ACAPULCO | Police say a man has been slain on a main highway leading into Acapulco, bringing to 31 the number of people killed in the Pacific coast resort city over four days.

Guerrero state Investigative Police Director Fernando Monreal Leyva said the unidentified man was shot several times in the head and found on the road with his shirt pulled over his face.

Mr. Leyva said Monday that federal, state and local police are meeting with the military to consider ways to beef up security in Acapulco, where 27 people were killed in less than a day over a particularly bloody weekend.

Fifteen people were found at a shopping center Saturday. All but one had been decapitated.

Drug gangs have been battling over turf in the tourist destination.


Berenson asks to remain free on parole

LIMA | U.S. activist Lori Berenson asked a Peruvian court Monday not to revoke her parole and send her back to prison to finish a 20-year sentence for aiding leftist rebels, saying she regrets her actions and is not a danger to society.

Speaking at a hearing in the capital, Lima, Berenson said she wants to dedicate herself to raising her young son, born while she was behind bars.

“I reaffirm everything said in the Aug. 18 hearing: That I believe I am not a danger to society, that I acknowledge my responsibility in the crime I committed, and that I feel repentant about it,” Berenson told the judges.

Berenson was first granted parole May 27 after serving three-quarters of her sentence, then was sent back to prison Aug. 18 on a technicality. The same judge who first freed Berenson reinstated her parole in November.

However, prosecutors are still fighting the decision.


Death toll rises to 30 in pipeline explosion

MEXICO CITY | An official said a police officer whose wife and two small children were killed in a crude-oil explosion in central Mexico also has died, bringing the death toll to 30.

Puebla state spokesman Noe Torres said Cupertino Garcia Garcia died Monday morning at a hospital in Mexico City.

The 25-year-old Officer Garcia was sleeping at home in San Martin Texmelucan when a pipeline exploded Dec. 19. He was the only person in his family who initially survived the blast, which injured 52 and damaged or destroyed 115 homes.

The explosion is thought to have been caused by oil thieves. Crude gushed from a state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos pipeline into city streets and ignited.

Four other people remain hospitalized, including two children.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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