Mexican left: PRI used dirty money in presidential campaign


The leftist candidate in Mexico's July 1 presidential election said the campaign of the ostensible winner was financed in part with dirty money.

"I have elements to say that money of illicit origin was used in the campaign of (Enrique) Peña Nieto," Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a press conference in the capital.

Peña Nieto, representing a coalition led by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, won the election with 38.21 percent of the vote, while Lopez Obrador took second place with 31.59 percent, according to the final official tally.

But the leftist hopeful filed a motion last week with the TEPJF electoral court seeking to have the election overturned, pointing to reports of vote-buying by the PRI and other violations.

"Triangulation" among front companies was used to supply the Peña Nieto campaign with money that came from PRI-controlled state governments "or from organized crime," a member of Lopez Obrador's legal team, Jaime Cardenas, said at Wednesday's press conference.




Army kills Indian in southwest Colombia


The death of an indigenous man at the hands of Colombian soldiers increased tensions in the strife-torn southwestern province of Cauca, where thousands of Indians have mobilized to drive both government forces and leftist guerrillas off their lands.

The fatal incident occurred in a rural area of the municipality of Caldono, the army's 3rd Division said in a statement.

Troops carried out "military operations to neutralize any terrorist attempt against the community (and) a person ended up dead," the statement said, providing no further details.

The indigenous government of Caldono identified the dead man as Fabian Cuetia, a 22-year-old member of the regional peasants movement. "They killed him in cold blood," senior councilor Albeiro Calambas told Efe by telephone, adding that residents were holding several soldiers from the unit involved in Cuetia's death.




Spain confirms that kidnapped aid workers freed


Three European aid workers kidnapped nearly 10 months ago from a Saharawi refugee camp in Algeria were released safe and sound in Mali, sources in the Spanish government told Efe.

Spaniards Ainhoa Fernandez de Rincon and Enric Gonyalons and Italian national Rosella Urru were abducted Oct. 23 from a facility near the Algerian town of Tindouf where foreign aid workers are lodged.

The abductions were carried out by a branch of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the captives were taken to northern Mali, an area now effectively under the control of Tuareg separatists.




Violence causes 26 pct of teen deaths in Brazil


Violent incidents - including accidents and suicides - accounted for 26 percent of adolescent deaths in Brazil in 2010, a nearly fourfold increase since 1980, a new study shows.

The Map of Violence Among Children and Adolescents was prepared under the direction of Julio Jacobo Waiselfisz, a researcher with the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, based on statistics from the Brazilian health and justice ministries.

The 8,686 minors slain in Brazil in 2010 represented 43.3 percent of all murder victims that year. The figure translated into a rate of 13.8 homicides per every 100,000 residents up to the age of 19.

The study ranked Brazil as the hemisphere's fourth-most-dangerous country for adolescents, behind only El Salvador, with 18 murders per 100,000 minors; Venezuela, 15.5; and Trinidad and Tobago, with 14.3 homicides for every 100,000 residents 19 and under.




Guatemalan cop accused of organized crime turns self in


A Guatemalan police officer suspected of belonging to a gang accused of vehicle theft, robbery and sexual assault has turned himself in to authorities.

National Civil Police "officer Marvelys Obed Ramos Iguardia voluntarily turned himself in (Tuesday) to the Attorney General's Office" and was immediately arraigned, an AG's office spokesman told Efe.

A court had issued an arrest warrant last week for Ramos for the crimes of aggravated robbery and criminal association.

According to investigators, the officer was part of an "extensive criminal structure" made up of several cells implicated in more than a dozen cases of rape, vehicle theft and robberies of bank customers.




India's Jindal abandons Bolivia's biggest mining project


India's Jindal Steel & Power has pulled out of its contract to develop the El Mutun iron-ore mine in Bolivia, the largest mining project of President Evo Morales' tenure, Mining Minister Mario Virreira said.

In the most recent talks, the New Delhi-based company's local subsidiary, Jindal Steel Bolivia, had set two "non-negotiable" conditions for staying on, Virreira said in a press conference Tuesday.

Jindal demanded an end to a probe into its alleged failure to make required investments and insisted the government return $36 million in performance bonds it had collected after accusing the company of non-compliance with contract terms.

"This brings an end to Jindal's participation in the country, but it's a great opportunity to qualitatively improve the development of the Mutun deposits," Virreira said, adding the government will seek a new partner in the project through an international bidding process.