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Cali Cartel cocaine kingpin seeks early prison release, citing cancers

The co-founder of Colombia’s notorious Cali Cartel, which used innovative techniques to smuggle $2 billion in drugs into the United States, is seeking an early release from federal prison in Miami because of his deteriorating health.

Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela, 81, has served half of his 30-year sentence under a 2006 plea deal. He is battling colon and prostate cancer and is asking to return to his family in Colombia.

“He has been in various jails for the past 25 years,” his attorney, David Markus, said. “Our system allows judges to be compassionate, and that’s what we are asking for here.”

At a Wednesday hearing, Miami U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno said he wanted more information on Rodriguez-Orejuela’s health, his criminal case and his prison activities within 30 days.

VETERAN ‘STAR’ DEA AGENT CONSPIRED WITH COLOMBIA DRUG CARTELS TO LAUNDER MORE THAN $7M

Westlake Legal Group Cali-Cartel-Boss-AP Cali Cartel cocaine kingpin seeks early prison release, citing cancers Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/us fnc article 9a9327b7-3ccf-5567-8571-c8036c2edbeb

Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela leaves the Combita maximum security prison, in Tunja, 60 miles northeast of Bogota, Colombia. The 81-year-old is asking a Miami federal judge to let him return to his family in Colombia because he suffers from prostate and colon cancer. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

At the height of their power, Rodriguez-Orejuela and his brother, Miguel, 76, turned the Cali Cartel into one of the world’s most dominant drug smuggling operations. The enterprise was known for mixing cocaine shipments with legitimate goods such as frozen vegetables, fruits and coffee packages.

U.S. officials say the cartel smuggled at least 200 tons of cocaine into the country during the 1990s — 80 percent of the nation’s supply at the time.

The group became the dominant drug organization after the death of Pablo Escobar, the leader of the rival Medellin Cartel. Unlike Escobar, who waged a deadly war with the Colombian government before he was gunned down, the Cali Cartel leaders opted for a more quiet approach and were nicknamed the “Gentlemen of Cali.”

DAUGHTER OF CALI CARTEL BOSS JAILED FOR ALLEGED EXTORTION IN EFFORT TO RECLAIM FAMILY FARM

Their crimes were the focus of the third season of “Narcos” on Netflix. Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela is serving his prison sentence at a federal prison in Pennsylvania.

Federal prosecutors oppose the early release request, saying Rodriguez-Orejuela has received proper medical care in a North Carolina prison and the severity of his crimes.

“Releasing Rodriguez-Orejuela early jeopardizes public safety by diminishing the seriousness of his offense and would send entirely the wrong message about leading such a large scale drug trafficking (operation) and the punishment that must come with it,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Hirsch said in court papers.

Markus said in court papers that his client poses no threat and will not engage in any smuggling activities if released.

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“He has zero interest in re-offending and is instead focused on keeping body and soul together,” he said. “Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela is truly a changed man in so many ways. We should be thankful for that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Cali-Cartel-Boss-AP Cali Cartel cocaine kingpin seeks early prison release, citing cancers Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/us fnc article 9a9327b7-3ccf-5567-8571-c8036c2edbeb   Westlake Legal Group Cali-Cartel-Boss-AP Cali Cartel cocaine kingpin seeks early prison release, citing cancers Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/us fnc article 9a9327b7-3ccf-5567-8571-c8036c2edbeb

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Drug lord Pablo Escobar’s hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study

Large wild hippos once owned by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar have become an invasive species whose waste is wreaking havoc on Colombia’s aquatic ecosystem.

That’s the conclusion of a new study published this week in the journal Ecology, according to the tech publication C/Net.

According to researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia, who conducted the study, Escobar’s four hippos have since multiplied to 80 hippos, C/Net reported. Hippos can grow to 3,000 pounds each.

The researchers determined that the large amounts of waste these creatures are excreting into the lakes they inhabit are changing the water’s chemistry and oxygen levels, according to the news outlet.

PABLO ESCOBAR’S LAST GIFT TO COLOMBIA: OUT OF CONTROL HIPPOS THAT MAY HAVE TO BE PUT DOWN

Westlake Legal Group Hippo-REUTERS Drug lord Pablo Escobar's hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/tech fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/tech fnc fb4ed9d6-c4e0-5bb5-9613-d0af35241e2f article

A veterinarian prepares a hippopotamus, known as “Orion,” for dental treatment at the Zoo Santa Fe in Medellin January 27, 2010. The hippo was born in the private Hacienda Napoles ranch which belonged to Pablo Escobar. (REUTERS/Albeiro Lopera) 

The study found that the hippo waste fertilizes harmful algae and bacteria, causing problematic algae blooms similar to red tides, which cause illness in humans and animals, C/Net reported.

PABLO ESCOBAR’S HUNGRY, HUNGRY HIPPOS HAVE LEFT COLOMBIAN TOWN IN STATE OF FEAR

Escobar’s sprawling drug lair contained an exotic zoo for his children’s enjoyment, according to reports.

Columbian police killed Escobar in 1993 and afterward, the government found homes for all the zoo’s exotic inhabitants — except the hippos.

The authors of the study published in Ecology said hippos are difficult to catch and dangerous to confront.

They warned that the hippo population is likely to grow, further changing the aquatic ecosystem, C/Net reported.

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“If you plot out their population growth, we show that it tends to go exponentially skyward,” said UC San Diego’s Jonathan Shurin, a biological sciences professor and the study’s lead author. “In the next couple of decades there could be thousands of them. This study suggests that there is some urgency to deciding what to do about them. The question is: What should that be?”

Westlake Legal Group Hippo-REUTERS Drug lord Pablo Escobar's hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/tech fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/tech fnc fb4ed9d6-c4e0-5bb5-9613-d0af35241e2f article   Westlake Legal Group Hippo-REUTERS Drug lord Pablo Escobar's hippos have become an invasive species, befouling lakes: study Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/tech fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/tech fnc fb4ed9d6-c4e0-5bb5-9613-d0af35241e2f article

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Woman wearing fake pregnancy belly arrested in Argentina in failed pot-smuggling attempt

Westlake Legal Group istock_000041968896_large Woman wearing fake pregnancy belly arrested in Argentina in failed pot-smuggling attempt fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson b68d1ef5-950d-52b1-967a-ba17781142e2 article

A woman was arrested in Argentina this week for attempting to smuggle 9 pounds of marijuana inside a fake pregnancy bump, Argentina’s Gendarmería Nacional tweeted Wednesday.

The unnamed woman was caught on a bus as she allegedly attempted to bring the drugs across the border into Chile.

ELDERLY CRUISE PASSENGERS CLAIM THEY WERE TRICKED INTO SMUGGLING 20 POUNDS OF COCAINE

An accomplice on the bus was also caught with marijuana inside his bag, the Gendarmería Nacional said.

“She made a belly out of paste, hid 15 cannabis bricks inside it and faked a pregnancy before trying to take it from Mendoza to Santa Cruz,” Argentina’s Minister for Security Patricia Bullrich wrote in the tweet.

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“The pretend mom-to-be and her accomplice were arrested.”

Westlake Legal Group istock_000041968896_large Woman wearing fake pregnancy belly arrested in Argentina in failed pot-smuggling attempt fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson b68d1ef5-950d-52b1-967a-ba17781142e2 article   Westlake Legal Group istock_000041968896_large Woman wearing fake pregnancy belly arrested in Argentina in failed pot-smuggling attempt fox-news/world fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson b68d1ef5-950d-52b1-967a-ba17781142e2 article

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Scientists to monitor stranded whales from space

Scientists have begun using satellites that can produce high-resolution imagery in an effort to monitor whale strandings from space, according to an investigation by the British Antarctic Survey and four Chilean research institutes.

They believe a new technique for analyzing satellite images could revolutionize how stranded whales are detected in remote places.

In 2015, more than 340 whales were involved in a mass stranding in a remote region of southern Chile. Evidence of the stranding wasn’t discovered for several weeks due to the inaccessible nature of the area on the Chilean coast — with aerial and boat surveys assessing the extent of the damage several months after it was discovered, according to the study published in Plos One journals.

MASSIVE ELEPHANT FOUND DEAD ON TOP OF SQUISHED CROCODILE

Westlake Legal Group AP_sei-whales Scientists to monitor stranded whales from space fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 7c5ff212-8517-50de-a8c4-2da74aa860a7

Skeleton of a young Sei whale ( Balaenoptera borealis ) ( Kike Calvo via AP Images )

“The aerial survey was done on a huge scale and was very impressive, but it’s possible some of the carcasses got washed back out to sea in storms and simply weren’t counted. The 343 number was only ever a best estimate,” BAS whale expert Dr Jennifer Jackson told the BBC.

Because of the delay, many of the whales went missing and their decomposed bodies made it hard for scientists to determine how they died. One satellite image counted several fewer whales than the original aerial photo and substantially more in the second picture taken, possibly alluding to the fact many had washed away by the time the non-satellite aerial photos were taken.

They say the use of satellites could make the discovery effort in finding whale strandings more efficient and less costly. They also believe it will inform scientists of information they weren’t able to see before with planes and boats, according to the investigation.

27 MAYA RITUAL SITES DISCOVERED ON ONLINE MAP BY EAGLE-EYED ARCHAEOLOGIST

“This is an exciting development in monitoring whales from space,” Dr Peter Fretwell, the lead author at British Antartic Survey, told the BBC. “Now we have a higher resolution ‘window’ on our planet, satellite imagery may be a fast and cost-effective alternative to aerial surveys allowing us to assess the extent of mass whale stranding events, especially in remote and inaccessible areas.”

Researchers detected the whales using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images from Maxar Technologies, which they found could identify the shape, size, and color of the whales and even the possible cause of the beaching.

Researchers say that pictures from the WorldView-2 satellite could show features larger than 50cm (19.7 inches) from an altitude of 700km (435 miles). They say due to a whales shape being over 10m (33.8 feet) in length that it could provide a good outline for the animal’s overall shape. Improved satellite imagery technology with a 30cm (11.8 inches) resolution should make the job even easier, according to the study.

Westlake Legal Group sei-whales-GettyImages-143079502 Scientists to monitor stranded whales from space fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 7c5ff212-8517-50de-a8c4-2da74aa860a7

Sei Whale (Balaenoptera Borealis). (Photo By Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG Via Getty Images)

When analyzing pictures taken by WorldView-2, researchers manually look for white shapes and sort them by how confident they believe the specific image is a whale, the study added.

“It’s important that we harness human technological advancements to do a better job understanding and protecting the natural world,” Jennifer Jackson, molecular phylogeneticist at the British Antarctic Survey, told Earther.

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Hopefully, this new technology allows for a faster and more efficient way of understanding how stranded whales may have died — before weather and natural forces can impact the area and distort their findings.

Westlake Legal Group AP_sei-whales Scientists to monitor stranded whales from space fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 7c5ff212-8517-50de-a8c4-2da74aa860a7   Westlake Legal Group AP_sei-whales Scientists to monitor stranded whales from space fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc David Aaro article 7c5ff212-8517-50de-a8c4-2da74aa860a7

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James Carafano: Venezuela is still carrying out Chavez’s strategy to poison America, but Trump can stop it

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6032358603001_6032359279001-vs James Carafano: Venezuela is still carrying out Chavez's strategy to poison America, but Trump can stop it James Jay Carafano fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9f5b9883-6fc7-5024-82b1-fafb11b041c7

Venezuela continues to go down the drain. As the world wonders how thuggish Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro manages to cling to power, we received a fresh reminder that the problems plaguing Venezuelans started long before him.

It was Hugo Chávez, Maduro’s predecessor and mentor, who set Venezuela on the road to ruin almost two decades ago. We have also learned that, as part of that journey, Chávez initiated a campaign to flood the United States with cocaine. That’s just one more reason why the Trump administration must keep pressing to rid the Western Hemisphere of Chavismo.

U.S. federal prosecutors have claimed that, shortly before his death from cancer, Chávez directed his top lieutenants to work in tandem with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to weaken the U.S. via an epidemic of drugs. With Chávez’s backing, the guerillas became a major producer of hard drugs, distributing them to Latin American cartels and splitting the profits with el presidente and his cronies.

VENEZUELA STARTS MILITARY EXERCISES AT COLOMBIA BORDER, US PROMISES BOGOTA ‘FULL SUPPORT’

Chávez’s handpicked successor, Maduro, inherited his criminal enterprise as well as the presidency. Today, it’s not just the support of China, Russia, Iran, and Cuba that keeps Maduro in power — it’s his criminal network and the cash it provides.

There is little doubt that the unholy alliance between the Venezuelan regime and FARC is still in operation. Recently, FARC guerrilla commander Luciano Marin — a key figure in the peace talks with Colombia — renounced the peace deal he helped broker and declared he was taking up arms again.

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Guess where he has been operating. If you said “Venezuela,” go to the head of the class. Maduro has declared that Marin and another guerrilla commander were “leaders of peace who would be welcomed in Venezuela.”

The documents filed by federal prosecutors were not public before this month. But the Trump administration has long labeled Maduro a de facto drug lord. One of the officials cited by prosecutors, Diosdado Cabello, was already under sanctions for trafficking and money laundering.

And it is not just the U.S. that suffers from the regime’s drug war on us. Colombia, Panama and several Caribbean states, have to deal with the debilitating influence of criminal cartels — their violence, mayhem and corrupting riches. Meanwhile, the entire region struggles under the responsibility of caring for the millions of Venezuelans who have fled from Maduro’s despotic and economically ruinous rule.

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Maduro has dug in deeper than an Alabama tick, but that shouldn’t deter the U.S. from continuing its campaign to isolate, punish, and hopefully convince the strongman to finally let go and let the people of Venezuela have a future.

When Ambassador John Bolton left as national security adviser, many assumed the administration’s interest in the people of Venezuela would go with him. That is unlikely to happen. Bolton may have pressed too hard and been too optimistic over how quickly the regime could be brought to heel.

Still, over the last two years, the U.S. has worked with a coalition of nations in the region who see clearly the dangers posed by the Maduro regime. It is important to keep that coalition together.

Only in partnership with these friends and allies can the continent banish the drug cartels, master migration issues, deal with dangerous transnational terrorists groups such as Hezbollah, promote economic freedom and regional growth, empower women, and keep destabilizing actors including China, Russia, Iran and Cuba at bay.

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The good guys of the Western Hemisphere can start by banding together at the United Nations General Assembly and making it clear that they won’t stand for this kind of bad behavior anymore. They could begin by protesting the very idea that the illegitimate Venezuelan regime should stand for election to the Human Rights Council. In fact, it is an embarrassment that Maduro’s people are recognized at all at the U.N.

Now is the time to say “no mas.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JAMES CARAFANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6032358603001_6032359279001-vs James Carafano: Venezuela is still carrying out Chavez's strategy to poison America, but Trump can stop it James Jay Carafano fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9f5b9883-6fc7-5024-82b1-fafb11b041c7   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6032358603001_6032359279001-vs James Carafano: Venezuela is still carrying out Chavez's strategy to poison America, but Trump can stop it James Jay Carafano fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9f5b9883-6fc7-5024-82b1-fafb11b041c7

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Little League World Series player shows how low a batter can go

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-140727f148654710aa6a3dc97f2cd5f9 Little League World Series player shows how low a batter can go fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 70e0656a-ac37-52ae-a5b7-37739b89d837

It may be the weirdest batting stance in baseball history.

A hitter on the team from Venezuela participating in this year’s Little League World Series in Pennsylvania may have crouched lower in the batter’s box than any player ever has.

ESPN video tweeted by MLB‘s Cut 4 website from Saturday afternoon’s game against Australia shows 12-year-old Deivis Ordonez nearly sitting on the ground as he takes a pitch for a strike in the fifth inning.

LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES PITCHER RECEIVES PRAISE FOR ‘UNREAL’ SPORTSMANSHIP

Then on the very next pitch, Ordonez stood upright and bunted his way on base. Later, he showed off his dancing skills to the Williamsport crowd.

But his crouching style was so unorthodox that it has already been mimicked by social media sensation “Batting Stance Guy,” who imitates the stances of various ballplayers.

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As for Saturday’s game, Venezuela topped Australia 2-0.

The World Series continues Sunday with two international games and two games between U.S.-based teams.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-140727f148654710aa6a3dc97f2cd5f9 Little League World Series player shows how low a batter can go fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 70e0656a-ac37-52ae-a5b7-37739b89d837   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-140727f148654710aa6a3dc97f2cd5f9 Little League World Series player shows how low a batter can go fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 70e0656a-ac37-52ae-a5b7-37739b89d837

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Couple suffers fatal fall while kissing on bridge in Peru

Westlake Legal Group xss Couple suffers fatal fall while kissing on bridge in Peru New York Post Jackie Salo fox-news/world fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fnc/world fnc article 99491746-c6fc-5d9a-8a50-51e9eb0a56fb

A couple shared a romantic kiss on a bridge in Peru that turned fatal when they lost their balance and plunged to their deaths, a chilling video shows.

Maybeth Espinoz, 34, and Hector Vidal, 36, were locked in an embrace Saturday on Bethlehem Bridge in Cusco when they fell 50 feet to their deaths, Metro Uk reported.

CLIMBER FALLS TO DEATH FROM MATTERHORN IN SWITZERLAND; GUIDES SAY MOUNTAIN ‘TOO DANGEROUS’

Surveillance footage showed Espinoz around 1 a.m. perched on the railing of the bridge as she locked lips with her boyfriend.

She can be seen wrapping her legs around Vidal’s waist before falling backward over the barrier — and pulling her boyfriend with her as they tumbled to the road below, the news outlet reported.

Espinoz died en route to a local hospital while Vidal succumbed to his injuries later in the intensive care unit, Metro UK reported.

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Espinoz and Vidal reportedly were mountaineers and had moved to Cusco to work as tour guides.

Westlake Legal Group xss Couple suffers fatal fall while kissing on bridge in Peru New York Post Jackie Salo fox-news/world fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fnc/world fnc article 99491746-c6fc-5d9a-8a50-51e9eb0a56fb   Westlake Legal Group xss Couple suffers fatal fall while kissing on bridge in Peru New York Post Jackie Salo fox-news/world fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fnc/world fnc article 99491746-c6fc-5d9a-8a50-51e9eb0a56fb

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4 Brazilian inmates purportedly involved in deadly prison riots die during transport to safer lockup

Brazilian authorities investigating the deadly jail riot between prison gangs that left 58 dead on Monday said that four other inmates believed to have been involved in the clashes have died while being transported to a different location.

The Para state public security office said the four inmates were discovered when the prison vehicle they were traveling in arrived in the town of Maraba on Wednesday. They said all four died of asphyxiation.

Authorities said the four inmates – who were believed to be from the same gang – were among 46 who were being sent to safer lockups, including stricter federal ones. The vehicle had four compartments and was carrying 30 handcuff inmates.

State officials said clashes erupted in Altamira early Monday when the local Comando Classe A gang attacked a wing of the prison holding members of the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command. Comando Classe A members allegedly set fire to temporary cells where inmates belonging to Red Command were being held while construction of another wing was underway – most of the victims died of asphyxiation.

SUSPECTED BOKO HARAM EXTREMISTS KILLED AT LEAST 65 AT NIGERIA FUNERAL, OFFICIALS SAY

Westlake Legal Group four-inmates-Brazil-1-AP 4 Brazilian inmates purportedly involved in deadly prison riots die during transport to safer lockup fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/world fnc d7a127d4-44cf-53e6-9dfc-7fae89aab56a article

Prisoners allegedly involved in the killing of other inmates during a prison riot in Altamira, are led to a waiting vehicle to be transferred to another penitentiary, after arriving at the airport in Belem, Brazil, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Dozens of relatives of inmates killed during the riot in northern Brazil gathered at a coroner’s office Tuesday to identify the 57 victims. (AP Photo/Raimundo Pacco)

BRAZIL RIOT INMATES CELEBRATED BY KICKING SEVERED HEADS OF VICTIMS: REPORT

“This is clearly a declaration of war on the Red Command,” said Jean-François Deluchey, a political science professor at the Federal University of Para who specializes in the region.

Authorities have not yet revealed the exact motive for the clash, only confirming that it was a fight between criminal groups. However, several recent prison massacres have been attributed to gangs battling to control drug-trafficking routes in the multibillion-dollar Amazon drug trade.

Many of Brazil’s prisons are plagued with overpopulation as outnumbered guards struggle to maintain control over an ever-growing population of inmates; jailed gang leaders are often able to run their criminal activities from behind bars.

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At Altamira, a local judge revealed in a July report that he had counted 343 detainees in a facility authorized for a maximum 163 people.

Fox News’ Morgan Cheung and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group four-inmates-Brazil-2-AP 4 Brazilian inmates purportedly involved in deadly prison riots die during transport to safer lockup fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/world fnc d7a127d4-44cf-53e6-9dfc-7fae89aab56a article   Westlake Legal Group four-inmates-Brazil-2-AP 4 Brazilian inmates purportedly involved in deadly prison riots die during transport to safer lockup fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox news fnc/world fnc d7a127d4-44cf-53e6-9dfc-7fae89aab56a article

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Catholic bishop to rain down ‘holy water’ from helicopter in ‘mass exorcism’ over city

A Catholic bishop is reaching for new heights to save a city wrought with “evil.”

After the brutal murder of a 10-year-old girl in a port city in Colombia, Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya, the bishop of Buenaventura, announced he will perform a mass exorcism over the city beset with violence, drug smuggling, and poverty this weekend, The Guardian reported.

‘HEROIC’ VIRGINIA RABBI MISSING AFTER DIVING INTO OCEAN TO SAVE A STUDENT

“We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port,” Montoya told the local radio station.

Westlake Legal Group helicopter-Reuters Catholic bishop to rain down 'holy water' from helicopter in 'mass exorcism' over city fox-news/world/religion fox-news/us/religion/roman-catholic fox-news/travel/regions/south-america fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 55ddda4b-dc36-5048-9ed6-6a54fab74f7f

A Catholic bishop in Buenaventura, Columbia plans to use a helicopter to perform a mass exorcism over the city wrought with violent crime. (REUTERS/John Vizcaino)

He added: “We want to go around the whole of Buenaventura, from the air, and pour holy water on to it to see if we exorcise and get out all those demons that are destroying our port, so that God’s blessing comes and gets rid of all the wickedness that is in our streets.”

TEACHER FIRED FOR PRO-CHOICE ABORTION POSTS ON FACEBOOK SUES CATHOLIC SCHOOL

Colombia’s army reportedly offered the bishop a helicopter for the mass exorcism during the feast day of Buenaventura’s patron saint.

South America’s largest Pacific seaport was named as the country’s most violent place in 2014 by Human Rights Watch, which said it is “dominated by powerful criminal groups that commit widespread abuses, including abducting and dismembering people, sometimes while still alive, then dumping them in the sea.”

The local Catholic church reported eyewitness accounts containing gruesome details of “chop-up houses” where they slaughter victims.

AS SATANIC GROUPS RISE, VATICAN OPENS UP EXORCISM SUMMIT TO NON-CATHOLICS

While there has been an improvement since the report, homicides are up from last year, prompting a “pastoral emergency” from the Vatican-backed International Association of Exorcists.

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Earlier this year, the Vatican opened its annual exorcism summit to non-Catholics due to reports of a rise in demonic possessions and devil worship around the world.

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Maduro government claims plot to assassinate Venezuelan leader thwarted

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An assassination attempt against Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, which Maduro claimed was a part of a “fascist” plot to overthrow the government, was thwarted, officials said.

Maduro spokesman Jorge Rodriguez said on state television a network of mostly retired police officers and soldiers planned to bomb a key government building, seize a Caracas airbase and loot the country’s central bank.

Rodriguez said the alleged network planned the attack for June 23 and wanted to kill Maduro, his wife, and several high-ranking government officials.

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He also claimed the plot also involved opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is backed by the United States’ government and several dozen countries who recognize him as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

Guaido, who said members of his own political team were confronted by armed men from Maduro’s security forces early Wednesday, dismissed the latest claim as yet another attempt by the government to distract from Venezuela’s real problems.

“Let it be clear to the regime that they will not intimidate us,” Guaido said at a news conference, urging members of the police and military to stop taking orders from Maduro’s regime.

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Maduro, in a nationally televised address, said later the plotters were cowards backed by the United States.

“That’s not called politics,” Maduro said. “That’s called fascism.”

Meanwhile, Rodriguez appeared to suggest the alleged coup has been brought down by informers within the group.

“We were in all the meetings to plan the coup,” he said. “We were in all the conferences.”

The government has claimed various plots have been averted over the years, generally offering little-to-no evidence to back its charges. The opposition contends Maduro uses such claims to justify his crackdown on dissent.

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Maduro came under attack in August 2018 by two drones loaded with explosives, which detonated near the president while he spoke at an outdoor military celebration. He was not harmed in the attack, which officials called an assassination attempt.

Rodríguez said the purported network wanted to steal a helicopter to liberate Raul Baduel, a former defense minister now in jail, and install him as president.

He also charged Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera backed the alleged thwarted coup plot, but he didn’t provide evidence.

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Venezuela was thrust into a political tug-of-war earlier this year when Guaido, the leader of the opposition-led National Assembly, invoked the country’s constitution and declared himself interim president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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