- - Monday, November 12, 2012

MEXICO CITY — Mexican prosecutors have charged 14 federal police officers with trying to kill two CIA agents and a Mexican navy captain in an August ambush south of the capital city.

The attorney general’s office did not state a motive for the attack, which it announced late last week. The police officers have been charged with attempted homicide.

The attorney general said the police officers were off-duty and driving private vehicles when they opened fire 152 times on the U.S. Embassy vehicle carrying the CIA officers and navy captain to a military training camp.

The Mexican officers have spent nearly 80 days in a form of house arrest Mexico uses in organized-crime cases.

Army frees migrants held by crime gangs

MEXICO CITY — Mexican army troops freed 28 people who apparently had been kidnapped, most of them from Central and South America, officials in Tamaulipas state said Sunday.

Such migrants are often preyed on by organized crime gangs and drug traffickers as they try to make their way north to the United States in search of work and a better life.

Troops acted Saturday night in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas after receiving a tip that people were being held against their will in a building, a source in the office of the state attorney-general said.

Six people were arrested. Five of the victims were Mexicans and the rest from Central and South America, including women and children.


Bolivian drug lord caught with ton-plus of cocaine

ASUNCION — Paraguayan officials said Sunday they have arrested a suspected Bolivian drug lord and seized more than a ton of cocaine in a northern city along the border with Brazil.

Special agents said they found a 3,724-pound cargo at a ranch in Salto del Guairo, some 250 miles from the capital, Asuncion.

Agents reported a smaller find Saturday, but additional searches near the ranch turned up more cocaine and an illegal landing strip.

The National Anti-drug Secretariat said the drugs were about to be flown in five small planes to Rio de Janeiro.

Authorities say they arrested suspected drug lord Marco Antonio Rocca Ali and 18 other people, including Paraguayans, Brazilians and Bolivians.


Government turns to court to order Ghana to release ship

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina will ask the International Sea Tribunal to order the release of a seized navy sailing ship in Ghana, the South American government said Monday.

The ARA Libertad training ship was seized Oct. 2 in the port of Tema as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from Argentina’s economic crisis a decade ago.

Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said if Ghana does not free the vessel by Tuesday, Argentina will appeal before the tribunal in Hamburg, Germany.

Argentina had warned Ghana that it would take the issue to the arbitrage court late last month following a U.N. convention on the rights of the sea, Mr. Timerman said.

It also asked the African country to immediately restore power and water services to the vessel.

Ghanaian port authorities shut off the water and electricity to the ship last week, when Argentina refused to let it be moved to a less-busy part of the port. Argentina’s sailors pulled out rifles to prevent Ghanaian officials from boarding the vessel to move it.


Third person dies after powerful blast

SHERBROOKE, Quebec — A third person has died from injuries related to a powerful explosion and fire at a manufacturing plant outside Montreal earlier this week.

A worker who had be in an inducted coma with burns over 90 percent of his body died Saturday evening, Sylvie Robitaille, a spokeswoman for a Montreal hospital said Sunday.

The bodies of two other people were found in the ruins of the plant in Sherbrooke, Quebec, after the explosion Thursday.

The blast could be heard for miles, and 18 others were hospitalized.

Ms. Robitaille said three people remain hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening.

The plant belonging to Neptune Technologies & Bioressources produces and exports health products.


Truth Commission expands human-rights investigation

SAO PAULO — The Truth Commission investigating human-rights abuses committed by Brazil’s former dictatorship also will look into the role Catholic and evangelical churches played under the military regime from 1964 to 1985.

Commission member Paulo Sergio Pinheiro says the activities of clergy who opposed the dictatorship as well as the actions of religious groups that backed the regime will be investigated.

President Dilma Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla who was imprisoned for more than three years and tortured during the dictatorship, last year signed the law establishing the commission. It was given two years to conclude its investigation.

Brazil has never punished military officials who committed human-rights abuses, unlike Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, which also had repressive military regimes.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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