Prominent lawyer killed in Mexico after threats

Sunday, October 21, 2001

MEXICO CITY -- A prominent human rights lawyer who has defended Zapatista sympathizers was killed after receiving several death threats, and a note left with her body warned that the same could happen to others, Mexico City's attorney general said Saturday.

Digna Ochoa was found dead Friday after being shot in the head and leg, Attorney General Bernardo Batiz said. She was working at the office of two fellow human rights attorneys when her body was found.

A note, directed at Ochoa's Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center and presumably left by the killers, warned: "If they continue, this will also happen to another. You have been advised. This is not a trick."

INS supervisor accused of taking $6,000 bribe

MIAMI -- An immigration supervisor was accused of taking a $6,000 bribe to illegally admit a Colombian woman flying into Miami, and his indictment hints at more payoffs for illegal entry.

Fredy Barragan, an Immigration and Naturalization Service supervisor at Miami International Airport since 1997, was held on $200,000 bond on charges that carry a possible 15-year prison sentence.

Andrioli allegedly told someone in July that Fredy Barragan "typically charged $6,000 to $7,000 for each person he smuggled into the United States," the indictment said.

Guard foils bombing at Pakistan airport

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Security workers foiled an attempted bombing in the crowded VIP lounge of Islamabad's international airport Saturday, snatching up a briefcase left lying at travelers' feet with a ticking time bomb inside, police said.

Security forces hurried the briefcase to a concrete-brick bomb bunker in an airport parking lot and hurled it into a bin inside, where it exploded, airport security chief Col. Ashraf Faiz said. The blast slightly damaged a few cars, but there were no injuries.

The lounge had been crowded with about 150 passengers and friends and families seeing them off, Faiz said.

First Frenchwoman in space ready for blastoff

BAIKONUR, Kazakstan -- Claudie Haignere, the first Frenchwoman in space, is preparing to blast off today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the former Soviet republic of Kazakstan for a mission on board the international space station.

Haignere, a rheumatologist and expert in neuroscience, will be joined by Russian cosmonauts Viktor Afanasyev and Konstantin Kozeyev for a 10-day mission that includes eight days on board the space station. The 44-year-old Haignere will serve as crew engineer. Docking of the spacecraft is planned for Tuesday.

Macedonia seeks more patrols in rebel areas

SKOPJE, Macedonia -- Asserting that former ethnic Albanian rebel strongholds still pose a threat of violence, Macedonian officials sought NATO and European Union permission Saturday to beef up ethnically mixed police patrols they plan to move into tense areas.

"We are involved in negotiations," said Ilija Filipovski, head of a government team that meets with NATO and EU monitors. "There are talks scheduled, to see if we can obtain more armament and equipment for the troops."

-- From wire reports

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