14 Dismembered bodies found in northeast Mexico


At least 14 dismembered bodies were found in a truck abandoned outside city hall in El Mante, a city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, state prosecutors said.

The truck and its grisly cargo were found just after 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, a Tamaulipas Attorney General's Office source told Efe on condition of anonymity.

Police decided to move the vehicle to another location to sort through the contents, but "initial reports are that there are 14 bodies," the AG's office source said.

El Mante, which is in a sugar-growing region, is about 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, a state that has been rocked in recent weeks by a spike in drug-related violence.




Mexican court approves extradition of "Queen of the Pacific"


A Mexican federal court ruled that a reputed drug trafficker known as the "Queen of the Pacific" can be extradited to the United States.

The judges overturned a January ruling blocking the handover of Sandra Avila Beltran on grounds that U.S. authorities were seeking to try her on the same charges as those she had already been acquitted of in Mexico.

Said to have been a key intermediary between Colombian cocaine producers and Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, Avila is the most prominent woman in the hyper-macho world of the Mexican drug trade.

Mexican media have compared Avila to the main character in Spanish writer Arturo Perez-Reverte's novel "La Reina del Sur" (The Queen of the South), which was subsequently turned into a hit television miniseries.




Mexico arrests drug boss for slaying of activist's son


Army troops apprehended a drug kingpin in connection with last year's murder of the son of anti-violence activist Javier Sicilia, the Mexican defense department said.

Raul Diaz Roman was captured Thursday in Tecamac, a town in the central state of Mexico, the department said in a statement.

The suspect was the reputed boss of the Beltran Leyva cartel's operations in Morelos state, where Sicilia's son was slain, and it was people under Diaz's command who carried out the murder, the department said.

It was March 2011 when Juan Francisco Sicilia and six other men were found dead inside a vehicle in Temixco, Morelos.

His son's death prompted Javier Sicilia, a prominent poet and commentator, to abandon literature and create the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity to press for an end to the Mexican government's militarized approach to crime-fighting.




Nadal, Djokovic set up dream French Open final


Spain's Rafael Nadal outclassed countryman David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in the French Open semifinals, advancing to a title match against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic that will be rich in historical significance.

In Sunday's final, Nadal, the world's second-ranked player, will be seeking a record seventh French Open title, while the Serb will be trying to become just the third man in tennis history to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously.

The Spaniard has been ruthless in his march to the championship match and he seemed to take his game to even greater heights against Ferrer, who despite playing some of the best tennis of his career this fortnight could not even manage to make a single set competitive on Friday.

In the second semifinal, Djokovic scored a surprisingly easy 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over world No. 3 Roger Federer to advance to his first-ever French Open final.




Mexico enacts witness-protection law


President Felipe Calderon signed into law a measure authorizing benefits - including new identities - for people who find themselves at risk due to their participation in judicial proceedings, Mexico's attorney general said.

The program is open to crime victims, witnesses, police, forensic technicians, judges and other court personnel, Marisela Morales told reporters.

Individuals accepted to the program will be eligible for healthcare, psychological counseling, temporary housing and subsidies for food and transportation.




Mexican TV giant denies taking $ for favorable coverage of pols


The media conglomerate that dominates Mexican broadcast television has denied allegations it took money in exchange for raising the profile of Enrique Peña Nieto, the favorite to win the July 1 presidential election.

In a statement, Televisa said an article reporting the allegations - published this week in Britain's The Guardian newspaper - acknowledges that it was impossible to confirm the authenticity of the documents that served as the basis for the article.

Those documents, some of them posted on The Guardian's Web site, appear to show an outline of fees charged by Televisa for favorable news reports and other coverage in 2005 and 2006 of the then-governor of the central state of Mexico and other prominent politicians.