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Toddler slain in Italy drug war

The killing of a three-year-old toddler along with two adults in an apparent fight for territory in a violent drug war has sparked reactions of horror in Italy. The victims -- a convicted murderer on day release from prison, his partner and her young son -- were killed in southern Italy late Monday after the car they were travelling in was forced off the road by gunmen in a second car, who then fired more than 15 bullets through the windscreen.

Ex-mafioso wins British battle against extradition to Italy

By Julia Fioretti LONDON (Reuters) - A fugitive Sicilian mafioso arrested in Britain last year after living a quiet suburban life under an alias for two decades won a battle against extradition on Monday when the court found that Italy's prison overcrowding could breach his human rights. Domenico Rancadore, 65, came to Britain in 1994, cutting all contact with his family in Italy and establishing himself as "Marc Skinner" in Uxbridge, west London, where he lived undetected for over 20 years with his wife and two children.

Mafia fugitive wins British extradition battle

Mafia fugitive Domenico Rancadore on Monday won his battle to avoid extradition from Britain to Italy. Rancadore, known as "The Professor", was arrested after evading Italian authorities for 20 years. The 64-year-old had been living quietly in the London suburbs. Italian prosecutors accuse Rancadore of fleeing Italy as he faced trial over his alleged Cosa Nostra connections. Senior District Judge Howard Riddle discharged Rancadore at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

Ex-Montreal cop pleads guilty to gangsterism-related charges in Hells case

MONTREAL - An ex-Montreal police investigator has pleaded guilty to a charge of gangsterism for selling sensitive information to criminal bikers. Benoit Roberge entered the plea in a Montreal courtroom this morning. He also pleaded guilty to breach of trust as he broke down in tears and apologized for his actions. Roberge originally faced four charges — one of obstructing justice, one of breach of trust and two related to gangsterism. Crown and defence attorneys are recommending a sentence of eight years. A judge will hand down the sentence on April 4.

Mob made money off construction deals without investing their own money: inquiry

MONTREAL - The Mafia usually didn't invest their own money in construction or real-estate deals, but they still walked away with a profit when the projects were finished, Quebec's corruption inquiry heard Wednesday. The Charbonneau Commission is tackling the reach and role of the Mob in major real-estate deals and the influential role played by late Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto in some of those projects. An inquiry investigator testified about organized-crime tactics when it came to the construction industry — a low-risk investment that reaped plenty of reward.

Evidence links Mexican vigilante leader to murders, official says

Mexico City, Mar 12 (EFE).- The vigilante leader arrested in western Mexico may have been the "facilitator, a participant or the one who covered up" the murders of two people, special commissioner for Michoacan state Alfredo Castillo said Wednesday, citing the evidence obtained by investigators.

No Pakistani civilians killed by US drones in 2013: UN monitor

No Pakistani civilians were killed by US drones last year as Washington slashed its controversial use of the pilotless planes in the country, a UN expert said Wednesday. "I am pleased to be able to report a very significant de-escalation in the use of armed drones by the United States in... Pakistan," Ben Emmerson told reporters in Geneva. The total number of recorded strikes in 2013 was down to 27 from a peak of 128 in 2010, said Emmerson, who monitors respect for human rights in counter-terrorism operations.

Vigilante leader arrested in western Mexico

Morelia, Mexico, Mar 12 (EFE).- A prominent vigilante leader in the western Mexican state of Michoacan was arrested in connection with two murders, prosecutors said. Hipolito Mora, the leader of a vigilante group formed more than a year ago in the town of La Ruana to fight the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel, was arrested Tuesday night "for his probable responsibility in the role of co-participant in the murders" of Rafael Sanchez Moreno and his driver, Jose Luis Torres Castañeda, the Michoacan Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

Vigilante leader flown to Mexico City amid tensions with rival group

Morelia, Mexico, Mar 11 (EFE).- Hipolito Mora, a vigilante leader from the western Mexican state of Michoacan, told Efe he was flown to Mexico City on a government helicopter amid tensions between his group and a rival self-defense organization. Mora is the leader of a vigilante group formed more than a year ago in the town of La Ruana to fight the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel, which has a strong presence in the state.

Cartel boss used reports of his death as cover to operate in Mexico

Mexico City, Mar 10 (EFE).- Caballeros Templarios drug cartel boss Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, who died in a shootout with soldiers over the weekend, used erroneous reports of his death in 2010 to continue operating freely for some time, officials said Monday. "The biggest beneficiary of having anonymity was him," special commissioner for Michoacan Alfredo Castillo told Televisa. Moreno, known as "El Chayo," was killed in a shootout with soldiers on Sunday near Tumbiscatio, a city in the western state of Michoacan.
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