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Venezuela court blocks destruction of voter lists BY FABIOLA SANCHEZ Associated Press

CARACAS — Venezuela’s Supreme Court ordered opposition electoral officials not to destroy lists of voters following primary elections, a decision that was promptly condemned by opposition leaders who vowed to keep voters’ identities secret. Tuesday’s court order was sought by Rafael Velasquez, a mayoral contender who lost in Sunday’s primary and called for the voter lists to be reviewed. But opposition politicians said the decision appeared to be an attempt to intimidate adversaries of President Hugo Chavez. “The government is never going to be able to expropriate the vote of our people. It’s never going to be able to expropriate hope,” opposition leader Henrique Capriles said during a speech Tuesday night at an event where he was formally proclaimed the presidential candidate. Referring to the Supreme Court decision, Capriles said it appears to be part of an attempt to “instill fear.” Capriles also focused his message on pledging a stronger economy and better schools, and on differentiating his candidacy from that of Chavez. “Our government will be for everyone. The bus of progress has its doors open,” Capriles told the crowd, reading a prepared speech. On election day, he said, “it will be up to us to choose between two paths: the path of progress that you want, or the path of socialism that the government wants for you.” The 39-year-old state governor will face Chavez in the Oct. 7 presidential election. Sunday’s primary vote also determined opposition candidates for state and local races across the country. “The secrecy of the vote is a commitment, and we’re going to keep it,” opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez said in response to the ruling. “There will be no court decision . . . that will prevent what’s happening to keep happening: that more Venezuelans are joining.” After a failed 2004 recall vote against Chavez, a list of those who • TURN TO VENEZUELA, 2A


An injured inmate is carried away after a fire broke out at the prison in Comayagua, Honduras, 90 miles north of Tegucigalpa on Wednesday.

More than 300 die in Honduras prison fire BY RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD New York Times Service

MEXICO CITY — A fire at a prison in central Honduras has killed more than 300 people, officials said Wednesday, making it one of the worst prison disasters in recent years in Latin America and the latest crisis for a country rattled by surging violence. Prison officials said they were still sorting through the devastation, telling reporters on Wednesday morning that 357 people were missing and presumed dead in the blaze at the federal prison in Comayagua, about 45 miles north of the capital, Tegucigalpa. The authorities also said that another 400 inmates might have escaped in the chaos. Survivors recounted horrific scenes of companions ablaze and people trapped in their cells after the fire broke out on Tuesday night and burned out of control for 40 minutes before the first


Relatives of inmates gather outside the prison compound. rescuers arrived around 11:30 p.m., according to La Tribuna, a newspaper in Tegucigalpa. The Associated Press said help was delayed because a guard with the proper key could not be located. “We were asleep when we suddenly heard the screams of people on fire,” said a survivor

interviewed on the Televicentro television network outside the prison, where a proverb over the entrance reads, “Let justice be done even if the world perishes.” The survivor continued, “Many of our companions were killed.” The cause was not known. Investigators were looking into

whether it was started by an inmate who set fire to a mattress in his cell. Outraged relatives of dead inmates tried to storm the gates of the prison Wednesday morning to recover the remains of their loves ones, witnesses told The Associated Press. The crowds were driven back by police officers firing tear gas. Channel 5 television showed dozens of inmates’ relatives hurling rocks at officers. “We want to see the body,” shouted Juan Martinez, whose son was reported dead. “We’ll be here until we get to do that.” Honduran prisons, like many in Central America, are notorious for overcrowding and violence, a problem made only worse as drug trafficking gangs overrun the nation and set up staging grounds to move • TURN TO HONDURAS, 4A

9 naked tourist couples tie the knot in Jamaica BY DAVID MCFADDEN Associated Press

AP FILE, 2010

Syracuse, N.Y., saved $500,000 from its annual salt budget, thanks to a warm winter with much lower snowfall.

Warm winter helps snowy U.S. city save BY FREEMAN KLOPOTT Bloomberg News

The plow operators in Syracuse, N.Y., the snowiest U.S. city, have spent much of this winter busy with the work of warmer months: cleaning the streets. “One good thing about the snow: A lot of times it covers up the trash and the dirt,” said Pete O’Connor, the Public Works commissioner. “Now, people are calling to get the litter


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cleaned up. The city’s definitely cleaner than it would be at this time.” Syracuse had spent $525,958 on road salt by the end of January, $500,000 less than in the same period last year and a third of its $1.8 million annual salt budget, O’Connor said. In an average winter, the Central New York city of 145,000 has about 83 inches of snow by Feb. 8, • TURN TO WINTER, 2A


KINGSTON, Jamaica — Nine tourist couples slathered on ample amounts of sunblock and said “I do” in the nude on a sun-baked Jamaican beach. Getting married in the buff on Valentine’s Day meant living out a fantasy for Milly Salas, a stay-athome mom from Bergen County, N.J., who had never visited a nudist resort before. “It was beautiful. It was like a fairy tale,” the 39-year-old Salas said shortly after the nude nuptials at Hedonism II, a resort for the pleasure-seeking crowd in Negril, a western tourist town in this largely conservative, tourismdependent island. The promise of a Valentine’s Day wedding and complimentary fournight stay attracted over 100 couples from the United States and Canada, but only 10 were chosen as part of a nude wedding contest, according to Zein Issa-Nakash, a marketing vice president at Superclubs, which owns Hedonism. One couple dropped out before the big day, which was filmed by a documentary TV crew. Kevin Young, of Land O’ Lakes,


Fla., said walking around au naturale is what he’s used to since he lives in a nudist community. Getting married without clothes was a no-brainer for Young and his wife, Shannon Witherspoon. Even body paint was too much for him, he said. “It was easy for us cause we’re used to it. But some of these other people had never been naked before outside their bedroom. I got to give them kudos, cause they really stepped up and did the full monty thing and got naked,” Young said during a phone call from Negril. The Tuesday ceremony was the first nude wedding event at the Jamaican resort since 2003, according to Issa-Nakash. She said there were no angry protests of the event by pastors and others as there were about a decade ago when the resort first hosted group weddings in the buff. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s government was quiet about the resumption of nude weddings at Hedonism this Valentine’s Day. During the controversy over nude weddings in 2001, Simpson Miller, then Jamaica’s tourism minister, said getting married without clothes was at odds with how Jamaica should be marketed.


INDEX THE AMERICAS ...........4A U.S. NEWS .....................5A OPINION........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES ...6B

2/16/2012 5:48:51 AM






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Hoy | The Miami Herald | 2012-FEB-16  

Hoy | The Miami Herald | 2012-FEB-16

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