Drug dealers in Colombia doesn't seem...


February 18, 1991

PUNISHING BIG-TIME drug dealers in Colombia doesn't seem like much punishment at all. The government has a "standing offer" to drug traffickers that now includes a reduced jail term and assurance of no extradition.

Two of the biggest smugglers, Jorge Luis Ochoa and his young brother, Fabio, surrendered under this policy and will be the only two prisoners in a maximum-security jail in Itagu. Each will have a cell equipped with a kitchenette, a private bath and a patio.

Pablo Escobar, Medellin's top leader, is demanding even further government concessions before surrendering -- including a proclamation from the government that all extraditions to the United States are unconstitutional. He is becoming a policy maker.

So far, 56 drug traffickers have consulted the Colombian government about turning themselves in. And why not? It's the best deal in town: You keep the money you've "earned," get a complimentary kitchenette, and, if you're big enough, get a chance to dabble in legislation.

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HOW BAD ARE shortages in the Soviet Union?

A couple we know is soon going to move to Moscow to work there. They are stocking up on everything that they might need during a couple of years' sojourn. Supplies of shampoo, paper clips and car batteries we can half-way understand but why are they taking along a shovel?

Because no shovels have been available in Moscow stores for the past two years.

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A CUBAN FARMER bitten by a crocodile bit the animal right back, according to Cuban news reports.

Farmer Jose Escanell Perez, who raises crocs, was tending his pens when the animal clamped onto his head, then grabbed his hand. "I shouted, 'Let go, you bastard,' but it didn't understand so I bit it on the base of the tail to see if it would release," Mr. Escanell said.

A friend broke a paddle trying to pry the croc's mouth open. Then Mr. Escanell had had enough. He poked his fingers into the crocodile's eyes, causing it to open its mouth and try to get away. Mr. Escanell, who needed 16 stitches for his head injury, said afterward that he didn't "believe in the ferocity of the beast. You've got to treat crocodiles with courage and love."

Right. Tough love.

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MOST WELCOME, Governor Schaefer's reassurances as to the state of his mind. There was fear that after giving so many individuals a piece of his mind, some diminution might have set in.

How about, for one more state motto, peace of mind?

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