Mexican cops nab one of FBI's most wanted


Mexican authorities said they apprehended Joe Luis Saenz, one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

The FBI posted a reward of $100,000 for information leading to Saenz's capture, Mexico's Public Safety Secretariat said.

Saenz was detained Thursday in the western city of Guadalajara following a joint investigation by Mexican Federal Police and the FBI, according to the official statement.

Thought to be 36 or 37, Saenz is wanted for offenses going back to July 1998, when he alleged killed two members of a rival gang in Los Angeles. Within days of the double-murder, he purportedly abducted, raped and killed a former girlfriend.




Venezuelan judge says she was raped in prison


The case of Venezuelan Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni, in custody for almost three years amid international condemnation of her imprisonment, took an unexpected turn with the publication of a book in which she says she was raped in prison.

Arrested in December 2009 after the flight abroad of a businessman charged with various crimes, an occurrence that led Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to denounce her, Afiuni reported that she was raped in a Caracas jail.

She became pregnant after the assault and underwent an abortion behind bars, Afiuni told the book's author, Francisco Olivares.

Afiuni, now 46, was moved from prison to house arrest in February 2010. Her lawyer, Jose Graterol, told Efe Friday that he considers Chavez "guilty of what happened" to his client in prison.




Guatemala blames drug gang for massacre


The killing of seven men at a medical complex in this capital was the work of drug-cartel enforcers, Guatemala's interior minister said.

Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told reporters that the intended target of Thursday's attack was reputed kingpin Jairo Orellana Morales, who escaped unharmed.

The 30-year-old Orellana drove away when he noticed gunmen apparently waiting for him at the building in an affluent, gated community on the south side of Guatemala City.

The kingpin left behind his seven bodyguards, who were disarmed and then shot execution-style. The attack on Orellana was ordered by the Mexico-based Los Zetas cartel, an intelligence source told Efe, in a bid to bolster control of key smuggling routes in Guatemala.




Brazilian Olympic medalist Nelson Prudencio dies


Nelson Prudencio, who won two Olympic medals for Brazil in the triple jump, died of complications from lung cancer, his doctors said. He was 68.

Prudencio, winner of a silver medal in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico and bronze at the Munich Olympics in 1972, had been in a coma since Tuesday due to a rapid spread of the cancer, which was only diagnosed a month ago.

The retired athlete was working as a physical education instructor at the Federal University of Sao Carlos.

Though he failed to take gold at the Mexico City Olympics, for a few hours he owned the world record of 17.27 meters (56 feet 7 inches) for the triple jump - also known as the hop, skip and jump - but was later left behind by the Soviet Union's Viktor Saneyev with 17.49 meters (57 feet 4 inches).




Mexican president wants country's name changed


Nine days before stepping down from office, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said he will submit a bill to Congress to change the country's official name.

Calderon, who will hand over power on Dec. 1, wants Mexico to be called by that name alone rather than its official name, Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States).

"It's a matter of the utmost importance because a country's name expresses a symbolic relationship ... with its people, its origins, its culture, its customs and above all, with its identity," the president told reporters Thursday at the Los Pinos official residence.




Puerto Rican musician Sammy Ayala dies


Veteran Puerto Rican singer and percussionist Sammy Ayala, known for his work in the folk genres of bomba and plena, died at a hospital here this week. He was 79.

Musician Marcos Lopez Ayala, a grandchild of Ayala's who studies percussion at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, made the announcement on Facebook, calling his grandfather "one of the most important people" in his life and an "inspiration and mentor."

One of Ayala's last concerts was at a major music festival last year in Old San Juan, where he performed with the Puerto Rican band Plena Libre led by bassist Gary Nuñez.

Nuñez told Efe Thursday that he will remember Ayala, who died the day before after a battle with cancer, as a "wonderful person," noting that he contributed throughout his life to the development of Puerto Rican music and especially the Afro-Puerto Rican genres of bomba and plena.