February 14, 2010 in Nation/World

In brief: Marchers protest drug violence

From Wire Reports
Associated Press photo

Patricia Davila, center, aunt of two teenagers killed by unknown assailants on Jan. 31, joins a protest against violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on Saturday.
(Full-size photo)

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico – Hundreds of people marched Saturday against the drug gang violence besieging the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, gathering at a bridge where they simulated the massacre of a group of teenagers last month.

The protesters marched to a border bridge in Ciudad Juarez, where they dropped to the ground as masked people dressed in black arrived at the scene, pretending to be the gunmen who killed 15 people in a working-class neighborhood on Jan. 30.

Many of those killed were teenagers with no known ties to drug gangs. Police have arrested two suspects who told authorities they were targeting members of a rival cartel, but investigators say the killers may have been acting on mistaken information.

The attack stoked anger against the government of President Felipe Calderon, whose deployment of thousands of troops to Ciudad Juarez has done little to stop vicious fighting between gangs.

The bloodshed has made the city of 1.3 million, which lies across the border from El Paso, Texas, one of the world’s deadliest. More than 2,600 people were killed last year.

Candidate says vote was rigged

Kiev, Ukraine – Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – apparently defeated by a narrow margin in last week’s presidential vote – ended six days of silence Saturday by saying the election had been rigged and she would challenge the result in court.

Her statement seemed to confirm analyst expectations that she is digging in for a political standoff with her rival, Viktor Yanukovych, that could delay the transfer of power.

Preliminary results from the Feb. 7 ballot gave opposition leader Yanukovych a lead of just 3.5 percentage points. International observers called the election free and fair, but no winner has been officially declared, and Tymoshenko has refused to concede defeat.

She said Saturday she had evidence of fraud and would fight the result, for which the final count is to be announced on Wednesday.

“I have made the only decision I can make – to challenge the results in court,” said Tymoshenko, appearing stoical and resolute during the five-minute televised appeal to the public.

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