Nov. 19 News Brief South America

BRASILIA, Brazil – Supreme Court approves Battisti’s extradition: Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF) has approved the extradition of Césare Battisti by a vote of five to four. The Italian is a former member of the Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC) who has been handed down a life sentence in his home country for four murders. The case is still awaiting a further vote by magistrates on the scope of the extradition. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva can veto the extradition, but the court must first decide whether it is to be classed as “obligatory,” in which case the president has no choice but to “authorize” it.

[O Globo, EFE]

LA PAZ, Bolivia – Morales accuses candidate of damages against the State: The Bolivian government has accused opposition presidential candidate Manfred Reyes Villa of causing economic damages to the State amounting to over US$16 million during his administration as prefect (governor) of the central Cochabamba region. Meanwhile, President Evo Morales denied that the accusation formed part of a “political persecution” against the current second place candidate for the Dec. 6 elections, even though the latest polls put him 34 points behind the president.

[La Prensa, EFE]

CARACAS, Venezuela – Globovisión president accuses Chávez of government persecution: Citing “reliable sources” that were not revealed, the president of the private television channel Globovisión, Guillermo Zuloaga, has claimed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave a direct order for his imprisonment. “President Chávez gave instructions that he wants me in prison under any pretext,” said Zuloaga, who heads a private television channel that openly opposes the Venezuelan government and is facing several lawsuits by the Attorney General’s office. “Globovisión will not cease to report on the sad reality in this country,” added Zuloaga.

[El Universal, EFE]

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – One hundred FARC rifles seized in Colombia: The Cali Metropolitan Police intelligence services have seized 100 AK-47 rifles, “possibly manufactured in China,” that entered the country via the port of Buenaventura and were destined for FARC guerrillas. While no arrests were made, Cali police chief Col. Miguel Ángel Bojacá said that the arsenal was found in a truck parked in one of the city’s southern districts. The arms were allegedly going to be distributed to FARC’s Western Command.

[El País, EFE]

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