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									                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ARAB TIMES, FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012
INTERNATIONAL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               21


   Evidence strong

 Van der Sloot
 admits ‘guilt’
 LIMA, Peru, Jan 12, (AP): After
 Joran van der Sloot pleaded
 guilty Wednesday to the 2010
 murder of a Peruvian woman he
 met at a Lima casino, his lawyer
 argued that the killing was tragi-
 cally triggered by fallout from the
 very event that originally brought
 his client notoriety.
    The “persecution” suffered by
                       Van der Sloot
                       after      the
                       unsolved dis-
                       appearance of
                       US teenager
                       Holloway five
                       years earlier
                       scarred him
                       cally with a
   Van der Sloot
                       kind of post-
 stress disorder, defense attorney
 Jose Jimenez told the three female
 judges who are to sentence his
 client Friday.
    The young Dutchman has been
 the prime suspect in the Holloway
 case since she disappeared on
 Aruba five years to the day before
 the killing of the 21-year-old
 Peruvian woman, business stu-
 dent Stephany Flores.
    With the evidence against him       In this picture, a youth walks inside the earthquake damaged Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As the hemisphere’s poorest country marks the second anniversary of the earthquake. (Inset): A woman
 in the Peru killing strong, Van der    cries in this Jan 23, 2010 file photo after the funeral of Haitian Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot killed in the devastating earthquake outside Notre Dame d’Assumption Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. (AP/AFP)
 Sloot entered a guilty plea
 Wednesday at his lawyer’s urging,
 hoping for a reduced sentence.
                                                         Haiti reconstruction lags 2 years after quake
    “I truly am sorry for this act. I
 feel very bad,” the 24-year-old        Haiti on Thursday marked the two-             and other major buildings are still in          ute to those who died — including            ments, including in the areas of rub-          lending a hand, both with the
 defendant said, showing no emo-        year anniversary of a catastrophic            ruins, hundreds of thousands dis-               more than 100 UN personnel — and             ble removal and the resettlement of            removal of rubble and housing the
 tion in a brief admission of guilt     earthquake that killed more than              placed by the disaster still live in            called on international donors to            displaced persons, many Haitians               displaced.
                                        200,000 people, with few signs of             squalid tent camps, and a cholera               keep up their “vital support” for the        remain in need of international assis-            The agency claims to have helped
 in fractured Spanish. He did not       rebuilding   in    the    Western             epidemic has killed nearly 7,000 peo-           rebuilding two years after the disas-        tance,” a statement said.                      reduce the number of homeless from
 use the Dutch translator provided      Hemisphere’s poorest country.                 ple since 2010.                                 ter.                                           The US Agency for International              1.5 million just after the earthquake
 for the proceeding.                      The National Palace, parliament                UN chief Ban Ki-moon paid trib-                “Despite considerable achieve-             Development (USAID) has been                   to some 500,000 today. (AFP)
    Prosecutors are asking for a 30-
 year prison sentence under charges
 that carry a 15-year minimum.
    Van der Sloot, physically
 imposing at well over six feet tall,                                                                         Mexico
 bowed his head minutes later as
 his lawyer argued that he killed
 Flores in a “severe emotional
 reaction to extreme psychological
 trauma” related to the Holloway                                                                                                                 2 decapitated bodies left at mall
 disappearance, “something he
 says he never did and for which
 no evidence at all exists.”
    Van der Sloot did not exhibit
 signs of remorse, and he briefly
 smiled while conferring with
 Jimenez before leaving the court-
                                                                                          47,500 killed in drug violence
 room.                                                                                    MEXICO CITY, Jan 12, (AP): Two                housing high-end retailers like Coach,     high-rises where wealthy Mexicans            shocked because this is what’s been
    The judges have 48 hours to                                                           decapitated bodies were found inside a        Prada, Hugo Boss, Saks Fifth Avenue        and foreigners live dot the hilly land-      happening in Veracruz, Acapulco and
 render a sentence and the presid-                                                        burning SUV early Wednesday at the            and Mexican department store Palacio       scape.                                       Monterrey,” said Herrera, who was
 ing magistrate, Victoria Montoya,                                                        entrance to one of Mexico’s most lux-         de Hierro. The dump scene was                 But as the fight among splintering        having lunch with a co-worker at the
 said the panel would reconvene                                                           urious malls, feeding fears drug vio-         cleaned up so quickly that shoppers        drug cartels intensifies, brazen attack-     T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant inside the
 Friday to do so.                                                                         lence is infiltrating privileged realms       weren’t even aware anything had hap-       ers have reached even into the coun-         mall.
    Van der Sloot’s trial opened last                                                     previously thought safe.                      pened.                                     try’s most guarded districts.                   In October, the Mano con Ojos gang
 week but was adjourned until                                                                Police recovered the mutilated bod-                      Message                         “If they don’t put an end to this, it     claimed responsibility for leaving two
 Wednesday after he asked for           In this undated picture, Puerto Rico’s            ies before dawn off a toll highway at a                                                  could become more frightening here,”         severed heads on a street across from
                                                                                          shopping mall entrance in the heart of           The car was left only hours before      said Christian Falbi, a 24-year-old col-     the nation’s top military base in
 more time to decide how to plead.      singer Ruth Fernandez poses for a                                                               Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard
 He said then that he did not accept    photo while filming the movie ‘No Me              the Santa Fe district that’s a haven for                                                 lege student who lives in an apartment       Mexico City.
                                                                                                                                        guided a tour of a bridge construction
 the aggravated murder charges the      Digas Adios’ in San Juan, Puerto                  international corporations, diplomats         site 300 yards (meters) away. Ebrard       building within walking distance of                           Gang
 prosecution sought.                    Rico. Fernandez, a pioneer singer                 and the wealthy. The heads and a                                                         the mall.
                                        who broke racial and gender barriers                                                            spokesman Diego Gutierrez said there                                                       The gang was once part of the
    Van der Sloot, who wore faded                                                         threatening message were dumped a             was nothing to indicate the bodies            Erubiel Tirado, a security expert         Beltran Leyva drug cartel, and author-
                                        and was later elected a senator for               few yards (meters) away, Mexico City                                                     who teaches at Iberoamerican
 jeans and an untucked light-blue       the US territory, died Jan 9, of septic                                                         were a message to the mayor.                                                            ities say it has killed dozens while try-
 button-down shirt, had confessed to                                                      prosecutors said in a statement.                 Mexico’s sprawling capital has          University, said the attack shows the        ing to forcefully recruit local drug
                                        shock and pneumonia, producer                        Hours later, the government                                                           government’s law enforcement strate-
 the May 30, 2010, killing long ago.    Vicky Hernandez told reporters. She                                                             been something of a haven from the                                                      dealers to its ranks.
    He told police shortly after the                 was 92. (AP)
                                                                                          released a drug war body count                brutal cartel violence that has claimed    gy has not dissuaded increasingly bru-          Nationwide, 47,515 drug-related
 murder that he killed Flores in a                                                        recording more than 47,500 victims in         thousands of lives along the US bor-       tal drug traffickers.                        killings occurred from December
 fit of rage after she discovered his                                                     five years, echoing independent death         der and in outlying states. But gangs         “We are talking about an area that is     2006, when President Felipe Calderon
                                                                                          tolls tabulated by Mexican media.             have been fighting over an increasing-     under 24-hour surveillance by police         deployed thousands of troops to drug
 connection to the disappearance                                                             Local media published images of                                                       and private security and supposedly
 of Holloway on his laptop while                                                                                                        ly lucrative local drug market for                                                      hot spots, through September 2011,
                                                                                          the charred car and reported that a note      more than a year, mainly in the capi-      one of the safest in the capital and in      the Attorney General’s Office said
 they played poker online.                                                                written on hot pink paper was signed                                                     the country, and yet they can act with
    The defense says it was                                                                                                             tal’s working class outer neighbor-                                                     Wednesday.
                                                                                          by the drug gang Mano con Ojos, or            hoods and suburbs.                         impunity,” Tirado said.                         Drug-related killings rose 11 per-
 manslaughter, for which the mini-                                                        Hand with Eyes. Mexican police had                                                          It was a regular day at the mall with
 mum sentence is 5 years.                                                                                                                  The Santa Fe district has been                                                       cent in the first nine months of 2011,
                                                                                          said the gang was weakened by the             spared much of that violence and man-      dozens of cars parked in the lots and        when 12,903 people were killed, com-
    Police forensic experts disputed                                                      arrest of its leader, Oscar Osvaldo                                                      hundreds of shoppers visiting the jew-
                                                                                                                                        aged to maintain its reputation as a                                                    pared to 11,583 in the same period of
 that claim and a lawyer for the                                                          Garcia, in August.                            manicured bubble built atop a former       elry shops, shoe and department              2010, the office said.
 victim’s prominent family con-                                                              The victims, a man and a woman in          landfill on the western edge of Mexico     stores.                                         The figures indicate that three-quar-
 tends Van der Sloot killed Flores                                                        their 30s, had not been identified,           City.                                         Roberto Herrera, a 52-year-old            ters of all homicides in Mexico are
 in order to rob her.                                                                     prosecutors said. They said the SUV              The financial district houses the       salesman for a bottling company head-        now linked to the drug war.
    Prosecutors charged him with             Breuer                  Morton
                                                                                          with license plates from neighboring          Mexican headquarters of major corpo-       quartered in a building across the              The Attorney General’s Office
 first-degree murder and theft.                                                           Mexico state had been stolen.                 rations, Hewlett Packard and IBM           street from the mall, wasn’t surprised       found one small consolation: “It’s the
    The prosecution maintained Van                                                           The Centro Santa Fe mall where the         among them, and Iberoamerican              by the news.                                 first year (since 2006) that the homi-
 der Sloot killed Flores with “feroc-           Lat/Am                                    charred car was found is one of the           University, one of Mexico’s top pri-          “We have lived with this situation        cide rate increase has been lower com-
 ity” and “cruelty,” concealing the                                                       country’s largest and most glamorous,         vate schools. Modern, heavily guarded      for a while and we are no longer             pared to the previous years.”
 crime and fleeing to Chile, where
 he was caught two days after           Arrests over docu fraud case: Fifty
 Flores’ rotting body was found.        people have been accused of conspiring to     wealthy Mexican man apologized                  of class- and race-discrimination scandals   Miguel Sacal, the man who beat his client         Vera said two of his front teeth were
           Also:                        sell the identities of hundreds of Puerto     Wednesday for beating a parking atten-          that have drawn outrage in Mexico.           at a luxury apartment building, has agreed     broken in the beating, which happened
                                        Ricans to illegal immigrants on the US        dant who refused to show him where to              Ademar Gonzalez, the lawyer for park-     to apologize and pay damages for the           July 8 but didn’t come to public attention
 BIRMINGHAM,             Alabama:       mainland in the largest single fraud case                                                                                                                                                 until a video of the incident was posted on
 ‘Declare missing woman dead’: An                                                     find the jack in his car, the latest in a run   ing attendant Hugo Enrique Vera, said        beating.
                                        ever for US Immigration and Customs                                                                                                                                                       social networking sites Tuesday. Gonzalez
 Alabama judge has scheduled a          Enforcement, authorities said Wednesday.                                                                                                                                                  did not reveal the amount of the damage
 hearing in Birmingham on whether          Hundreds of birth certificates, Social                                                                                                           Talk with pope                        payment.
 to sign a court order declaring        Security numbers and driver’s licenses                                                                                                                                                       That support was visible Wednesday,
 Natalee Holloway dead more than        were sold for up to $2,500 a set as part of                                                                                                                                               both among the general public and from
 six years after the 18-year-old
 woman disappeared in Aruba.
                                        a black market ring based in Puerto Rico
                                        that operated from since at least April                                                                                                      Permission asked                             authorities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Governmental human rights and anti-
                                        2009, according to ICE Director John                                                                                                         HAVANA, Jan 12, (AFP): The
    Thursday afternoon’s hearing        Morton.                                                                                                                                                                                   discrimination officials said that apart
 was scheduled before a suspect                                                                                                                                                      Cuban human rights group known               from the assault itself, Sacal could face
                                           “The vast majority were legitimate doc-                                                                                                   as Ladies in White on Wednesday
 questioned in Holloway’s disap-        uments obtained by fraudulent or false                                                                                                                                                    charges for discrimination. (AP)
                                                                                                                                                                                     asked       Bruno     Musaro,     the
 pearance, Joran van der Sloot,         means,” he said.                                                                                                                             Vatican’s nuncio in Havana, for                           ❑        ❑       ❑
 decided     to    plead    guilty         The alleged ring consisted of suppliers,                                                                                                  permission to speak with Pope                Bid to curb Haitian influx: With a
 Wednesday to killing a young           runners and brokers, who made coded                                                                                                          Benedict XVI during his planned              booming economy that lures a growing
 woman in Peru.                         phone calls asking for “skirts” for female                                                                                                   visit to the island in March.                number of foreign workers, Brazil this
    Probate Judge Alan King is          customers and “pants” for male customers                                                                                                         “We asked him to intercede
                                                                                                                                                                                     before Pope Benedict XVI so that             week moved to curb a growing influx of
 hearing a request by Holloway’s        in specific “sizes”, which referred to ages                                                                                                                                               impoverished Haitians, hardening a pre-
                                        and identities sought, according to ICE.                                                                                                     when he arrives in Cuba, he will
 father to have her declared dead.         The documents would be sent through                                                                                                       meet with us,” the group’s leader,           viously more permissive immigration
 The judge ruled in September that                                                                                                                                                   Berta Soler, told AFP.                       stand.
                                        priority or express mail from Puerto Rico
 Dave Holloway had met the legal                                                                                                                                                         “We spoke for an hour-and-a-                Tuesday, the government said it would
                                        to brokers that operated in at least 15
 presumption of death for his           states including Ohio, Texas, Florida and                                                                                                    half and monsignor (Musaro) was              grant residence visas to 4,000 undocu-
 daughter and it was up to some-                                                                                                                                                     very receptive ... We left very              mented Haitian immigrants already in the
                                        North Carolina, officials said.                                                                                                              happy and hopeful about the
 one to prove she didn’t die in            Assistant Attorney General Lanny                                                                                                                                                       country but vowed to crack down on peo-
                                                                                                                                                                                     meeting” with the pope, Soler said.          ple-smuggling from the desperately poor
 Aruba. He has set the hearing          Breuer said suppliers even allegedly                                                                                                             Ladies in White is a group of
                                        offered to exchange documents if cus-                                                                                                                                                     Caribbean nation.
 Thursday to allow time for any-                                                                                                                                                     wives and other female relatives of             The decision came in reaction to a large
 one to come forward.                   tomers were not satisfied, adding that he                                                                                                    jailed dissidents. The women
                                        did not know how much money was made          Police stand next to the bodies of four men that were left next to a wall in the               protest the imprisonments by                 influx of Haitians, many of whom told
    The father’s attorney, Mark                                                       town of Medellin, near Veracruz, Mexico, Jan 11. All four men showed signs of                                                               human rights groups they were abused by
 White, says no new evidence has        overall. (AP)                                                                                                                                attending Mass each Sunday wear-
                                                                                      torture. More than 47,000 people have been killed in drug violence in the five                 ing white dresses and afterwards             traffickers in Peru and Bolivia before
 emerged.                                             ❑        ❑      ❑                                                                                                                                                           being smuggled into Latin America’s eco-
                                                                                      years since President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown against                    walking silently through the streets.
                                        Rich Mexican says sorry: A                                   drug cartels, federal prosecutors have said. (AP)                                                                            nomic powerhouse. (AFP)

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