October 17, 2006 in Nation/World

Former president of Peru dies

The Spokesman-Review

Former President Valentin Paniagua, a law professor who led Peru back to democracy following the collapse of Alberto Fujimori’s autocratic regime in 2000, died Monday. He was 69.

He had been hospitalized with respiratory problems since being operated on in August for inflammation of his heart membrane.

Paniagua governed as interim president for only eight months, but in that short time he forged a legacy for leading a broad-based government that took big strides toward rebuilding Peru’s tattered democracy, including overseeing clean elections.


Fraud alleged in governor’s race

Mexico’s main leftist party on Monday accused its rivals of fraud in the gubernatorial election for the home state of a fiery former presidential candidate who made similar complaints after losing his own race in July.

Sunday’s vote for governor in the oil-rich southern state of Tabasco was seen as a key test for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, which blockaded Mexico City streets and led mass marches after alleging dirty tricks had robbed him of the presidency.

PRD officials said they would appeal the results of Sunday’s election, which showed Andres Rafael Granier of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, defeating Democratic Revolution candidate Cesar Raul Ojeda.


Soldiers accused of abductions

A U.S.-based rights group on Monday accused soldiers in Congo’s postwar, national-unity army of abducting civilians and forcing them to serve as personal attendants and mine workers in the Central African country.

Human Rights Watch reported multiple incidents in August and September of government soldiers abducting people from villages for labor in the country’s northeastern Ituri province, which has remained violent despite peace deals to end Congo’s 1998-2002 civil war. Officials in the army, which includes fighters from wartime militia and rebel groups, called the accusations unfounded.

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