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SundaySeptember 30, 2012

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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MEXICO: Bodies Found in Cancun’s Hotel District Near Waterpark

MEXICO: Bodies Found in Cancun’s Hotel District Near Waterpark

Photo: MEXICO: Bodies Found in Cancun's Hotel District Near Waterpark

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Police found the bodies of two men near the entrance to a water park in the hotel district in Cancun, Mexico’s leading Caribbean tourist destination, officials said.

The bodies of the men, who had been tortured, were found around 8:00 a.m. Sunday near a water park owned by Palace Resorts, the public safety secretary of the city of Benito Juarez, Jesus Aiza Kaluf, said.

The bodies were discovered at kilometer 25 of the access road to the Wet’n Wild water park, which is close to the international airport, police said.

Indications are that the victims were murdered somewhere else and then dumped near the water park, police said.

The unidentified men, who are between 40 and 45, were bound, had their faces wrapped with duct tape and were tortured, investigators said.

The killers left a “narcomessage” with the body that claimed the murders were carried out by the Gulf drug cartel.

The Gulf cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest drug trafficking organizations, was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s and was later led by Juan Garcia Abrego, who was arrested in 1996 and extradited to the United States.

Osiel Cardenas Guillen took over the cartel’s leadership in July 1999, but he was arrested in 2003. He continued running the Gulf cartel, one of the most violent criminal organizations in Mexico, until his extradition to the United States on Jan. 20, 2007.

He was succeeded by his brother, Antonio Ezequiel, known as “Tony Tormenta.”

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen was killed in a shootout with marines on Nov. 5, 2010.

Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, the Gulf cartel’s top boss and one of the most-wanted men in Mexico and the United States, was captured by marines on Sept. 12.

Costilla Sanchez, known as “El Coss,” was arrested at a house in Tampico, a port city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

The Gulf cartel is no longer as powerful as it was in the past, partly because of its break with Los Zetas, the criminal organization’s former armed wing, which severed ties with the cartel in 2010 and now runs its own narcotics trafficking business.

The Gulf organization, which mainly deals in cocaine, synthetic drugs and marijuana, mostly operates in northern Mexico and the country’s eastern coastal areas.

The cartel, like other Mexican criminal organizations, has expanded into kidnappings and extortion rackets, targeting businesses.

Cancun, Mexico’s leading Caribbean tourist destination, draws foreign visitors, the majority from the United States, year round.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gulf Cartel Boss Apprehended, 6 Killed in Northern Mexico

Gulf Cartel Boss Apprehended, 6 Killed in Northern Mexico

Photo: Jose Ines Medina Rodriguez (left)

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A Gulf drug cartel boss was arrested and six people died in drug-related violence in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, a state security council official told Efe.

Jose Ines Medina Rodriguez was detained early Saturday in the city of Cadereyta, the Nuevo Leon Public Safety Secretariat said.

The 36-year-old suspect ran the cartel’s operations in Juarez, a city in the eastern section of the Monterrey metropolitan area, the secretariat said.

Medina Rodriguez and an associate were arrested after police spotted the cartel boss carrying a firearm as he got out of his vehicle, the secretariat said.

A man was murdered in the La Enramada section of San Nicolas, a city in the northern part of the metropolis, officials said.

The victim, who was around 30, was gunned down in a street.

Two men riding in an automobile were chased by gunmen around 2:00 a.m. Saturday and shot in San Nicolas’s La Estancia neighborhood.

One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene and the other died while being treated at a hospital in San Nicolas.

The body of a man was found in a street in Escobedo, a city northwest of Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon.

The unidentified man had been bound and killed execution-style, with a message left alongside the body, officials said.

Two bodies were found in Apocada, a city northeast of Monterrey.

The bodies, one of which was dismembered, were dumped in two parks near the La Noria and Huinala neighborhoods.

The Gulf cartel has been battling Los Zetas for control of Nuevo Leon and smuggling routes into the United States.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.

After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

The wave of drug-related violence in Nuevo Leon claimed the lives of 2,003 people in 2011, official figures show.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Security Personnel Rescue Kidnapped Female Tourists in Ecuador

Police and armed forces personnel rescued two foreign tourists - an Australian and a Briton - who were kidnapped last week by unidentified individuals in Ecuador’s Sucumbios province, which is on the border with Colombia, officials said.

The two women, who were rescued on Saturday in the Amazonian region, are in good condition, Interior Minister Jose Serrano said Sunday.

Serrano and Defense Minister Miguel Carvajal traveled to Sucumbios on Sunday to meet with the tourists and bring them back to Quito, where doctors examined them.

“They are in good spirits, their health is good,” Serrano told reporters.

The women were abducted last Friday by “common criminals,” the interior minister said.

The security forces are still searching for the kidnappers, Serrano said.

The tourists were in the Cuyabeno area when they were abducted, but the kidnappers “could not get them out of the reserve” because of the military and police units deployed to find the women, the interior minister said.

The kidnappers left the women behind when they spotted helicopters flying over the area, but the suspects are “in the area and police and the armed forces are in the process of apprehending them,” Serrano said.

“Hundreds of soldiers closed off the border, we closed off the border, we mobilized helicopters and these scoundrels had to leave the girls behind,” Security Minister Homero Arellano said.

“Obviously, this affects us as a country, the tourism, but let’s not forget that in many sectors of the border there is no presence of the Colombian state, but the FARC is there,” Arellano said, referring to Colombia’s oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group.

Tougher “measures should be taken with these scoundrels, against this organized crime group that lost its ideology a long time ago,” Arellano said.

Investigators are trying to determine “if there is a link between this crime and the organized illegal groups in Colombia,” Arellano said.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was founded in 1964.

The FARC is on both the U.S. and EU lists of terrorist groups. Drug trafficking, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom are the FARC’s main means of financing its operations.

President Juan Manuel Santos’s administration and the FARC plan to hold talks to lay out the framework for a peace dialogue.

FARC representatives said the first meeting with government negotiators would take place on Oct. 8 in Oslo.

Read more by HS News Staff →

7.3 Earthquake Shakes Souther Colombia

7.3 Earthquake Shakes Souther Colombia

Photo: Epicenter of earthquake (NWS)

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A magnitude-7.3 earthquake rocked no fewer than 11 provinces in southern and southwestern Colombia on Sunday, but so far there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, although a few homes were damaged in a small village.

The tremor’s epicenter was located below La Vega, a village in the southwestern province of Cauca, at a depth of 168 kilometers (104 miles), Colombia’s geological service said.

The quake occurred at 11:31 a.m., the geological service added.

The temblor was felt mainly in the provinces of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Huila , Risaralda, Quindio, Santander, Antioquia, Caldas, Tolima, Choco and Cundinamarca, of which Bogota is the capital, the national emergency management office said.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the quake measured 7.1 on the Richter Scale and was located at a depth of 150 kilometers (93 miles).

The national emergency management office said after an initial assessment that it had received reports that some homes in Timbiqui, a village in Cauca, were damaged, but nobody was reported to have been injured.

Emergency management officials in Bogota began moving through all the areas of the city with utility employees to determine if there had been any injuries or damage to power networks.

In the main provincial capitals, residents felt the earth shaking at times, especially in tall buildings, but nothing worse occurred amid the wailing of ambulance sirens moving through the streets to strategic locations or staging areas from where they could be deployed to deal with any eventuality, radio reports said.

The earthquake was felt in at least five provinces in Ecuador, the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute said.

There are reports that the quake was felt in the provinces of Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Guayas and Manabi, although word is still being awaited from other locations, institute technician Christian Viracucha told Efe.

The epicenter of the quake was located 61 kilometers (38 miles) south of the Colombian city of Popayan and 345 kilometers (214 miles) north of Quito, where it was strongly felt in tall buildings, as Efe verified, and which caused alarm among the public mainly for its duration.

Institute officials have no reports of damage or injuries in Ecuador from the Colombian quake, Viracucha said.

The “quake that occurred in southern Colombia does not pose a tsunami danger for the Ecuadorian coast or the island region,” Ecuador’s Naval Oceanographic Institute said in a Twitter posting.

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“Queen of Brazilian TV” Hebe Camargo Passes Away, Age 83

“Queen of Brazilian TV” Hebe Camargo Passes Away, Age 83

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Television host and singer Hebe Camargo, called by many the “Queen of Brazilian Television,” died in Sao Paulo of a heart attack after a two-year battle with peritoneal cancer, the SBT network reported. She was 83.

Camargo, who had signed a contract last week to return to Sistema Brasileño de la Television, or SBT, after a stint at Rede TV, died on Saturday at her home in the exclusive neighborhood of Morumbi, the network said.

In a message of condolence, President Dilma Rousseff said she had received with “sadness” the news of the death “of one of the most important personalities in Brazilian television,” whom she called her “dear friend.”

Camargo was “a pioneer of interview programs” and “with her friendliness and spontaneity she welcomed, over the course of six decades, the most diverse personalities on her television programs, always maintaining a great reception among the public,” the president said.

“Thousands of admirers all over Brazil lose today the joy of Hebe, a great artist, and at this time of pain and sadness, I want to express my solidarity with her family, her friends and all Brazilian television viewers,” Rousseff said.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife Marisa Leticia also issued a statement in which they emphasized that Camargo, “with her friendliness and charisma, gained the admiration of generations of Brazilians and provided an unequaled contribution to the history of the country’s television.”

“Her joy of living will always remain in our memory,” Lula and the former first lady said.

The artist, who had achieved fame as a singer of peasant music in the 1940s, participated in the first live Brazilian television broadcast in 1950 and never left the medium, where she established herself as one of the top hosts for variety programs.

Her final musical work was a tribute to her colleague and friend Robert Carlos in 2010, and a few months after that she had to undergo chemotherapy for peritoneal cancer.

In 2011, after being with her program for 24 years, Camargo left SBT, the channel headed by octogenarian host Silvio Santos, and signed a contract with Rede TV, where she remained until August, when she decided to accept an offer to return to her former television home.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Tourism Board, Embassy Host “Flight of the Butterflies” in 3D World Premiere

Mexico Tourism Board, Embassy Host “Flight of the Butterflies” in 3D World Premiere

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The Government of Mexico, through the Mexico Tourism Board and the Embassy of Mexico hosted the world premiere of “Flight of the Butterflies” at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. More than 400 guests, in the presence of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, gathered for the IMAX® 3D screening which tells the story of the Monarch Butterfly – one of the great natural mysteries of the world.

Produced by SK Films, a Canadian production company, and supported by the National Science Foundation, “Flight of the Butterflies” chronicles the true story of an intrepid scientist’s 40-year search to find Monarch butterflies’ secret hideaway while overwintering in Mexico.

The award-winning production team, including executive producer Jonathan Barker and Oscar® winner Peter Parks, captures the year-long migration cycle of hundreds of millions of Monarch butterflies, from Canada, through the United States to remote 10,000-foot-high peaks in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico – and back – through generations.

The film also represents a strong partnership amongst the U.S., Canada and Mexico to tell the untold story of Dr. and Mrs. Fred Urquhart and share the natural phenomenon of a tiny creature’s epic migration with viewers across the world.

In 2008 UNESCO declared the Monarch butterfly reserve in Mexico a World Heritage Site. While the WWF classified the Monarch as a “near threatened” species, the Mexican government and leading conservations organizations such as FMCN (Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacion de la Naturalez, A.C.) will continue to enforce measures to preserve the butterflies and their sanctuaries.

SECTUR, Mexico’s federal Ministry of Tourism, Mexico Tourism Board, the state of Michoacan and the state of the Mexico, as well as governmental and international environmental institutions sponsored the film.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bolivian Miners and Colquiri Mining Company Reach Agreement

Bolivian Miners and Colquiri Mining Company Reach Agreement

Photo: Bolivian miners protesting

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The groups of Bolivian miners vying for control of the Andean Colquiri mine reached an agreement that resolves their conflict by arriving at a division of its richest ore vein, Government Minister Carlos Romero said Sunday.

The agreement, which was reached on Saturday night, is “historic” and the leaders of the miners working for the state and the private cooperatives acted with “serenity and maturity” and decided to work together to exploit the disputed deposits of zinc and tin, Romero said.

The Union Federation of Mineworkers of Bolivia, or FSTMB, whose workers are employed by the state, dropped its demand for the entire Colquiri mine to be solely controlled by the government and agreed for a part of its best vein of metals be exploited by the workers of the Federation of Mining Cooperatives, or Fencomin.

The Colquiri mine was expropriated in June by President Evo Morales from the Swiss firm Glencore and since then it has been the target of a confrontation between those two mining sectors that worsened over the past three weeks with a number of violent incidents.

The first point of the accord establishes the commitment of the groups to recover “the coexistence in peace and harmony of the entire population of Colquiri,” located 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of La Paz, where mutual threats of new clashes had been made.

An FSTMB miner died 12 days ago and several others were injured when demonstrators from the private cooperatives threw dynamite charges at a union office in La Paz, but so far who was responsible for the death has not been definitively clarified.

The Bolivian Workers Central, or COB, supported with a partial strike lasting 72 hours the FSTMB miners and had warned that it would call for an open-ended strike and a march from the altiplano, or high plateau, region to La Paz if the Morales administration accepted the cooperative members’ demand to give them Colquiri’s richest vein to exploit.

The COB leadership, however, hailed the agreement to put an end to the conflict and reduce the tension at the mine, which the FSTMB miners were continuing to occupy as they awaited their leaders’ reports on the signing of the accord.

The cooperative members asked the government to return to the mine on Sunday when the other group fully demobilizes.

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“Blancanieves” Misses Top Prize at San Sebastian Film Festival, Wins Other Awards

“Blancanieves” Misses Top Prize at San Sebastian Film Festival, Wins Other Awards

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Francois Ozon made off with first prize and the best screenplay prize at the 60th edition of the San Sebastian film festival with his comedy “Dans la maison,” beating out Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves” and with silver awards going to Fernando Trueba (best director) and Jose Sacristan (best actor).

The third time was the charm for Ozon, whose “Bajo la arena” and “Mi refugio” had competed fruitlessly before, but the panel of judges headed by Christine Vachon selected him for the top award for the film’s impeccable framework, a movie based on the theater work “El chico de la ultima fila” by Juan Mayorga.

Blancanieves was the only film that seemed capable of overshadowing Ozon for best picture, and although the seductive power of the new version of the classic Grimm Brothers’ tale received two awards, it was unable to prevail for the top Golden Shell award for best film.

The judges presented the Special Jury Prize to Pablo Berger and a silver award for best actress for the film, which has been selected to represent Spain at this year’s Oscars.

But it was not Maribel Verdu, whose name had been on everyone’s lips as a possible winner for her role as the perfidious stepmother, but rather an emotional Macarena Garcia, playing the young Blancanieves, who shared the award with another first-timer, Katie Coseni, for “Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang,” by France’s Laurent Cantet, an adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel.

The resounding presence of Spanish film on the list of honor also included the best director award for Fernando Trueba, for his “El artista y la modelo,” and best actor for Jose Sacristan, who was not on hand to accept his award for his role in “El muerto y ser feliz” since he is filming a new version of “El Quijote” in the western Spanish city of Caceres.

Finally, the public selected “The Sessions,” by Ben Lewin, for the Audience Award and “The Angel’s Share,” by Ken Loach as the best European production.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentina Combats Chronic Diseases with IDB Assistance

Argentina Combats Chronic Diseases with IDB Assistance

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today approved a $150 million loan to help Argentina reduce the number of deaths caused by cardiovascular events and other chronic ailments, with a special focus on people without health insurance.

In Latin America and the Caribbean chronic non-communicable diseases are the main cause of death. Argentina has managed to lower some risk factors such as tobacco use. Still, the population is physically less active and more overweight and obese than five years ago. One in ten adults in Argentina suffers from diabetes, and one in three has high cholesterol and a similar proportion suffers from hypertension.

In 2009, tumors and cardiovascular disease caused 46 percent of deaths and 29 percent of healthy life working years lost for Argentinians 70 years or younger.

Risk factors affect poorer and less educated people more. For example, 26 percent of high school graduates suffered from high blood pressure in 2009. The number jumps to 54 percent for those who have not finished high school.

Almost 80 percent of heart ailments, strokes and type II diabetes are considered preventable. The project supports the 2011-2016 Federal Health Plan being implemented by the Health Ministry (MINSAL), by expanding the number of clinics and health care centers, promoting access to essential medicines available in primary care networks, and consolidating health information systems.

The idea is to gather information on 4.5 million Argentines who do not have health care to better identify risk factors. In addition, the program expects to train 8.000 health professionals, carry out 93 million basic treatments and distribute 560,000 health kits, among other results.

The project seeks to contribute towards the government’s objective of lowering the rate of deaths due to cardiovascular disease by 16 percent between 2010 and 2016, to 180 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The government counterpart will contribute $50 million. The IDB credit is based on LIBOR and is to be paid back over 25 years, with a 42-month disbursement period and a 54-month grace period.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuelan Specialists Deactivate Bomb at Uruguayan Embassy in Caracas

Venezuelan Specialists Deactivate Bomb at Uruguayan Embassy in Caracas

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The Uruguayan government announced Saturday the deactivation of an explosive device planted in its embassy building in Venezuela, and said that the case, which came eight days before the Venezuelan elections, is under investigation by the authorities.

The bomb was discovered Friday morning in the garden of the building housing the Uruguayan Embassy, the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry said in a communique.

The device, “which did not explode, was removed by Venezuelan police,” who proceeded to disarm it and who are currently “investigating the case,” he said.

“There was no personal or material damage” at the Uruguayan diplomatic mission, he said.

The Uruguayan Embassy in Caracas “sent a note” to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry about what happened and “remains in contact with the corresponding authorities,” the communique said.

Found with the explosive device were pamphlets attributed to the Jorge Rodriguez Sr. group, the Uruguayan press said.

Jorge Rodriguez Sr. was a university leader and one of the founders of the Socialist League, a Marxist party, who died in 1976 in custody of the then-political police of Venezuela after being charged with taking part in the kidnapping of an American executive.

The son of Jorge Rodriguez is currently the mayor of Libertador, the largest municipality of Caracas, and head of Hugo Chavez’s Carabobo command for the Oct. 7 elections, in which the Venezuelan president seeks reelection.

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Thousands Protest Spanish Austerity Measures in Madrid

Thousands Protest Spanish Austerity Measures in Madrid

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Roughly 4,500 people took part in the latest “Surround Parliament” protest Saturday in the Spanish capital to demand an end to government austerity measures, authorities said.

Several thousand people chanting anti-government slogans filled Neptune square outside Parliament, while riot police stood guard to prevent the demonstrators from making their way into the Congress of Deputies.

No violent incidents had occurred between 6:00 p.m., when the protest began, and 9:00 p.m., authorities said.

The protest, organized by the 25S (September 25) Coordinator, comes on the heels of other “Surround Parliament” demonstrations earlier this week to demand more democracy and a change in the economic policy of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

It coincided with the presentation Saturday in Parliament of the Rajoy government’s 2013 draft budget, which Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said will “pave the way to growth and job creation” thanks to its commitment to reducing the deficit.

The budget calls for spending by Spain’s ministries to be cut by an average of 8.9 percent, with expenditures only increasing in three areas: interest payments on the debt, pensions and scholarships.

Spain said Saturday its public debt will climb to 85.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 and 90.5 percent of GDP in 2013.

Spain’s economy has been battered in recent years by the global recession and the collapse of a massive real-estate bubble, which has left many banks saddled with toxic property assets.

The Iberian nation is in recession for the second time in three years.

Numerous businesses have failed amid the slump and tens of thousands of families have been evicted from their homes after falling behind on their mortgages.

Rajoy, who took office in December, has responded to the crisis by opting for a series of austerity measures - including increasing the value-added tax and reducing unemployment benefits - aimed at bringing Spain’s budget deficit into line with European Union mandates.

Those moves have sparked street protests in a country where the unemployment rate stands at nearly 25 percent and more than 50 percent among young people.

Thursday night’s “Surround Parliament” protests spilled over into clashes that left 64 people injured - 27 of them police officers - and 35 arrested.

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Presidents of Uruguay, Tunisia Will Meet in Lima to Discuss New Democracies

Presidents of Uruguay, Tunisia Will Meet in Lima to Discuss New Democracies

Photo: President Jose Mujica

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The president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, and his Tunisian counterpart, Moncef Marzouki, will present next Monday in Lima their experiences in applying the democratic system and the challenges still to be dealt with in their respective countries, the official Andina agency said Saturday.

Mujica and Marzouki will take advantage of their participation in the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of Latin America and Arab Countries, or ASPA, to be held Monday and Tuesday in the Peruvian capital, “in order to exchange views about making the transition to democracy which many nations of the world are now going through.”

The meeting will take place during a seminar organized by Idea International, whose head of mission in Peru, Percy Medina, told Andina that it will be a valuable opportunity, since Tunisia sparked the so-called “Arab spring.”

“We’ll find many things in common, since the challenges of building democracy are very similar - the idea is to share experiences and reflect on what we learn,” he said.

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Multiple Car Accident in Southern Brazil Kills 9

At least nine people died and another was injured in a collision of two private vehicles in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, the regional fire department said on Saturday.

The accident occurred this Saturday when an SUV and a car crashed into each other on a highway in the municipality of Porterinha, 582 kilometers (362 miles) from Belo Horizonte, the regional capital.

According to the report by Porterinha firefighters, eight people died at the scene of the accident, another died on the way to a medical center, and only the driver of the SUV survived. He is currently in serious condition at a clinic in the city.

Authorities said they are investigating the cause of the fatal accident.

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Petrobras Looking to Overturn Ban on Transocean, Chevron in Brazil

Petrobras Looking to Overturn Ban on Transocean, Chevron in Brazil

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Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras has taken legal action to suspend a court order barring U.S. oil supermajor Chevron Corp. and drilling contractor Transocean from operating in the South American country because of an oil spill.

Petrobras, which uses seven of Transocean’s rigs and has contracted an eighth that has not yet been put into service, said in a statement that if the two companies are expelled from Brazil it would have an adverse effect on its production and exploration activities.

The Brazilian company also said it is considering “alternative measures” to mitigate the impact of the loss of the rigs.

Transocean said it received the court order Thursday giving it 30 days to halt all operations in Brazil. The Switzerland-based offshore drilling contractor said it has appealed the decision.

The ban was imposed by the Federal Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro because of a minor oil spill last November at the Frade field, where 3,700 barrels of crude were spilled some 120 kilometers (75 miles) off the coast of the southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro.

The oil seeped through cracks in the ocean floor near an area where Chevron was conducting drilling operations using Transocean rigs.

The Switzerland-based company said after receiving the court order that it was “vigorously pursuing the overturn or suspension of the preliminary injunction.”

On Thursday, Chevron said in a statement it paid a 35.1 million reais ($17 million) fine imposed by Brazil’s ANP oil regulator for the crude spill.

The company said it made the payment on Sept. 21 without lodging an appeal.

The fine corresponded to 24 of the 25 infractions that the regulator found at the Frade field.

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U.S., Mexico Conduct Prisoner Exchange

U.S., Mexico Conduct Prisoner Exchange

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Mexico and the United States swapped 27 convicts to have them continue serving their sentences in their own countries, as a result of bilateral cooperation on the execution of prison sentences, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office said.

The AG’s office said in a communique that, on an unspecified date, four American convicts were handed over to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, and 23 Mexican prisoners were sent back to their homeland with the aid of Mexico’s Public Safety Secretariat and Foreign Relations Secretariat.

He said the American convicts were received at El Paso International Airport in Texas to have them continued serving in U.S. jails the sentences handed down by Mexican courts.

The Americans who were flown back to the U.S. had been tried in Mexico for crimes against public health and for aggravated kidnapping and qualified homicide.

For their part, personnel of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons delivered to agents of Mexico’s Public Safety Secretariat, in the same airport, 23 Mexican convicts who were taken back to their own country to serve the remainder of their sentences.

“The governments of Mexico and the United States of America have redoubled their efforts to widen cooperation in the execution of criminal sentences, thanks to the close collaboration between the two,” the communique said.

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SundaySeptember 30, 2012