- - Monday, May 23, 2011


Gas-tank attacks damage two banks; no injuries

MEXICO CITY — Two small explosive devices went off before dawn at two Mexico City banks on Monday, shattering windows but leaving no injuries, the city’s top prosecutor said.

No arrests have been made, but Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Mancera said authorities suspect youth gangs were behind the attack.

“There were just material damages,” Mr. Mancera told Mexican television.

Suspected anarchist groups have set off small explosions in Mexican banks several times in recent years. The attack did not appear related to the country’s drug war, in which cartels have set off car bombs as they resist a government crackdown.

The explosive devices on Monday appeared to be using small butane tanks, Mr. Mancera said.

Images from Televisa network showed shattered glass on the floor and damaged furniture inside a BBVA Bancomer bank office on the city’s west side. The other explosion was at a Santander Serfin branch, Reforma newspaper reported.

A third device was left in another Santander Serfin branch but did not explode, Reforma reported.


Right-wing Fujimori tops presidential polls

LIMA — Right-wing lawmaker Keiko Fujimori is leading left-wing former army officer Ollanta Humala just two weeks before Peru’s June 5 presidential runoff election, three polls showed.

In a CPI poll published early Monday by RPP radio, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori had 53.7 percent of the vote, while Mr. Humala had 46.3 percent when null and spoiled ballots were excluded in a mock vote organized by the pollster.

Another pollster, Ipsos, said its mock vote showed Ms. Fujimori had 51.4 percent of the vote to Mr. Humala’s 48.6 percent.

The survey firm Datum’s mock vote said Ms. Fujimori would get 52.4 percent of the vote and Mr. Humala 47.6 percent.

Ms. Fujimori, who is backed by the business community, saw her lead in the Ipsos and CPI polls widen slightly, though it narrowed a bit in the Datum poll. CPI said Ms. Fujimori has a 20-point lead in Lima, the comparatively wealthy capital, while Mr. Humala has a 5-point lead in the provinces.

Mr. Humala has sought to convince voters that he has abandoned his radical past, although critics fear that if he is elected he might roll back years of free-market reforms in Peru’s booming economy.


Diplomatic relations restored with Honduras

MANAGUA — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced late Sunday that his country was restoring diplomatic relations with neighboring Honduras as part of efforts to normalize the situation in the region.

The relations had been severed in the wake of a 2009 coup in Honduras that overthrew leftist President Manuel Zelaya.

Mr. Ortega also recognized current Honduran leader Porfirio Lobo as the country’s legitimate president, a decision that was announced during a regional summit that brought together the leaders of Central American states.

In a statement, Mr. Ortega said the restoration of bilateral relations will be “immediate and full.”

The Nicaraguan president was the only regional leader who did not recognize Mr. Lobo, who assumed power in January 2010 after winning presidential elections hastily arranged in the wake of the coup.


Allende’s body taken from tomb for autopsy

SANTIAGO — Chile has exhumed the remains of President Salvador Allende for an autopsy to determine whether he committed suicide or was assassinated during the 1973 military coup.

The pathologists and the investigative judge removed Allende’s casket from the family’s crypt in the General Cemetery in Chile’s capital. Allende’s two daughters were there as well, each carrying a rose.

Judge Mario Carroza ordered the autopsy after discrepancies were found between the initial police and military reports on his alleged suicide. Allende’s bone fragments will be studied to determine how many weapons were involved in his death.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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