Brazilian authorities deny Indians planning mass suicide


Brazil's government and Catholic Church denied that dozens of Indians were planning a mass suicide after being ordered to vacate a ranch.

Both the National Indian Foundation, or Funai, and the Catholic Church's Indigenous Missionary Council denied reports in the press and on Facebook concerning the alleged imminent mass suicide of a group of 170 Kaiowa and Guarani Indians in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Funai sources told Efe Wednesday that the indignous leaders they consulted said there were no suicide plans but instead vowed the Indians would remain at the property at any cost.

The disputed land is located on the Cambara ranch in the vicinity of the Pyelito Kue indigenous reserve, which is located near Brazil's border with Paraguay.




Mexican marines capture 9 Zetas cartel members


Nine Los Zetas drug cartel members were captured in separate operations in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila and more than 50 firearms, five rockets, drugs and thousands of rounds of ammunition were seized, the Navy Secretariat said.

The arrests were made on Monday in the cities of Piedras Negras, Nava and Monclova, where marines spotted the suspects while on patrol or received tips from citizens, the secretariat said in a statement.

The suspects admitted that they belonged to Los Zetas and distributed drugs in Coahuila or worked for the cartel's communications network.

Guillermo Federico Suevich Mora, who "apparently is one of the inmates who recently escaped from the prison in Piedras Negras," was among those arrested, the navy said. A total of 131 inmates escaped from the prison on Sept. 17 in a jailbreak blamed on Los Zetas.




Fellow tennis greats hail retiring Ferrero


Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt all offered words of praise for tennis great Juan Carlos Ferrero, whose singles career came to an end with a loss at the Valencia Open to good friend Nicolas Almagro.

Murray, the world No. 3 and winner of this year's U.S. Open, congratulated the 32-year-old Ferrero - winner of the 2003 French Open - on his "incredible career," adding that the Spaniard had always been "incredibly nice" to him when he came from Scotland to train in Spain as a teenager.

Ferrero, who had announced earlier this year that the Valencia Open would be the last tournament of his career, lost in the first round of that hard-court event 7-5, 6-3 to Almagro on Tuesday.

Ferrero was one of the world's best players from 2000 to 2003 but injuries began to hinder his performance starting in 2004.




Mexican gang leader, 8 accomplices arrested


A leader and eight members of the Guerreros Unidos gang in the city of Cuernavaca were arrested in the central Mexican state of Morelos, the Defense Secretariat said.

"With the arrest of Erasmo Israel Sotelo Hernandez, alias El Frio, and eight other people, the Guerreros Unidos criminal group's organization in the state of Morelos has been affected, containing its operational capacity" in the city of Cuernavaca, the secretariat said in a statement.

Sotelo Hernandez faces charges "for at least 30 murders," the secretariat said.

The gang leader was a member of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel, which operates in Morelos and neighboring Guerrero state, until June and then ran Guerreros Unidos's operations in Cuernavaca.




Brazil's OGX authorized to operate in deep-water areas


OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes - an oil firm controlled by Eike Batista, Brazil's wealthiest man - announced that it has been authorized as a deep-water operator.

OGX said in a statement that the ANP oil regulator assigned it the Operator A qualification it needed to operate blocks in "deep and ultra-deep waters" of the Atlantic Ocean. The company previously held an Operator B qualification, which limited it to operating in shallow-water and onshore blocks.

More than 90 percent of Brazil's oil production is located offshore in very deep water, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in an analysis brief in February.

State-controlled Petrobras, the country's largest oil producer, has discovered ultra-deep offshore reserves in recent years that could transform Brazil into one of the world's largest crude exporters.




Marines kill 7 in shootout in Mexico


Seven suspected criminals, including two women, died in a shootout with marines in the north-central Mexican state of Zacatecas, the Navy Secretariat said.

Marines raided a house early Tuesday in the Centro neighborhood of Zacatecas city, the state capital, after receiving intelligence reports about illegal activities at the property, the secretariat said.

The occupants of the house opened fire on the marines, who "repelled the attack under strict compliance with the rules for the legitimate use of force by naval personnel," the secretariat said in a statement.

Marines seized six rifles, a handgun and loaded ammunition clips, the secretariat said. The armed forces have arrested several drug cartel leaders, mainly members of the Los Zetas and Gulf cartels, who were allegedly responsible for operations in central Mexico.