Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 13, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
13, 1972 THE UTHM1DGE HHAIO 53 Can still make bid to return to power Argentina's ex-president Peron allowed to return to country By HAROLD SINNOTT BUENOS AIRES (Reuter) Exiled former president Juan Peron has author- ized to return home and, In theory, can make a bid to re- turn to power in Argentina's first general elections in seven years. But the former dictator is IB, and appears unlikely to rule Argentina again. He still commands the sup- port of millions of Argentines, however, and their votes will be a key factor in the elec- tions due to be held next March. This is why Peron, from his comfortable Spanish home in the Madrid suburb of Puerte de Hierro, still plays a cbmi- nant role in Argentine politics even though he went into exile when a military uprising top- pled his nine-year strong-arm rule in September, 1955. Argentina's military govern- ment is expected to appoint a new representative to resume negotiations with the ousted strongman on an agreement over conditions for holding the elections. OBSTACLES LIFTED To win Uie ex-dictator's goodwill, the government has removed all obstacles to his return to Argentina. He was recently given back his civil rights, thus becoming eligible to run for office and cast his own ballot. But although Peron's Justl- clalist Movement, recognized by the Argentine electoral courts earlier this year, has nominated him as its presi- dential candidate for the elec- tions, observers believe there is little or no chance that Peron will accept the nomina- tion or even return to Argen- tina. Tlw former president has never said definitely whether lie will or will not run for office. But he is watching events closely in order to obtain the most advantages, if not for himself at least for his party. The Rome weekly magazine L'Espresso quoted him as saying that at his age he could not have presidential "ambitions." However, if his followers really insisted, "How can I say he told L'Espresso. But observers believe that hard-liners i ri Argentina's armed forces would never permit him to take office, even in the remote event that he were allowed to run for it, and they add that Peron must be aware of this. RISK TO IMAGE He must aware, too, that it he returns to Argentina his image among his own sup- porters might suffer. He would no longer be the myth which his almost 17 years' ab- sence has made him, espe- cially among younger Peron- ists who hardly remember the time when he was in power. When President Gen. Ale- jandro Lanusse announced the March elections which will end almost seven years of military rule, he pledged that no candidate or political group would be banned from running in them. The Feron- ists have been excluded from most elections since Peron's ouster. But the avowed aim of the country's military leaders is that the elections should put an end to the deep rifts which have dividad Argentina into two main antagonistic groups for more than 25 years. This would hardly be accomplished if Peron were elected, accord- ing to the logic of this argu- ment. An over-all or significant Peronist victory at the polls would renew the bitter con- frontations between Peronists and anti-Peronists. BACKING SOUGHT Negotiations being con- ducted with Peron are be- lieved to be aimed not only at inducing him 1 keep out of the presidential race, but also at swinging the support of the Peronists behind a govern- ment-chosen candidate. This would give the Peron- ists a say in the future gov- ernment and ensure the gov- ernment candidate's elections. Lanusse's name has been frequently broached as the government-backed candidate, although the 53-year-old offi- cer, who is also Commander- in-chief of the army, has nei- ther confirmed nor denied this. The elections are scheduled for March 25, with the hand- over of office to the elected president on May 25. But so far no government decree has been issued calling the elec- tions. Chinese mystery man is drug king By PETER O'LOUGHLIN BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) A mysterious Chinese who operates in the mountains of northern Burma, in a wild area called the Golden Trian- gle, has qualified as the opium king of Asia. Narcotics agents describe this man, Lo Hsing Han, as the first link in the drug chain that ends with sales on United States street corners. In recent weeks, from his sanctuary at Tachilek, a small Burmese town just over the border from Thailand, he has seen Thai and U.S. nar- cotics agents striking at the heart of Ihe Asian drug traf- fic. In June and July agents seized 3.853 kilograms of raw opium, 212 of morphine base, 353 of prepared smoking opium and seven of No. 4 pure heroin. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds. In two days in June, the Thais seized opium and op- iates which would make half a ton of heroin. It was their big- gest raid ever. Judging the value of these hauls is difficult, agents say, because the prices rise sharply the farther down the pipeline the stuff moves. How- ever, if that amount of heroin were to get to the United Slales, it coulci be worth million at street value. DETAII-S SKETCHY The raids did not hurt Lo Hsing Han. He had already sold the drugs to dealers who were caught before they made their runs to Saigon, Bangkok and Hong Kong for further salts. But the message must have been clear: The heat is on and that may be bad for busi- ness. There are no photographs of Lo, no physical description. Thai authorities do not even know his age, although they have heard he Is a superb or- ganizer and a charismatic leader. He is thought to have been born in Yunnan, China's southern province, but even that is uncertain. Intelligence that trickles over the border, from people who cross frequently to trade r: smuggle goods into Taehi- lek, is sketchy. But It Is known that he op- erates in that northeast cor- ner of Burma which borders China, Thailand and Laos. The whole area, including parts of Thailand and Laos, is a no man's land called the Golden Triangle because of the estimated tons of opium produced there an- nually. Some 800 tons of opium come from Burma alone, much of it from terri- tory which the opium king rules as a feudal war lord. HEADS PRIVATE ARMY Intelligence reports say Lo is the leader of a private army of at least men, euphemistically called a self- defence force. His army is composed of Dacoits, hill tribesmen, Shans, Yunnanese, Haws and deserters from the 93rd Kuomintang Division which was thrown out of China in the Communist takeover in 1949. His troops have modern weapons, including Ameri- can-made MIS rifles, grenade launchers and mortars origi- nally supplied to Ihe Laos army but sold into a black market in Thailand. Lo's army is regarded as the best equipped and most cohesive fighting force in the mountains. The Burmese army, confined to the main towns, will not tackle it. Reserve decision in conviction of chiropractor EDMONTON (CP) The Al- berta Supreme Court of Ap- peals reserved decision in the case of William W. Thompson, 42, of Barrhead, a chiropractor convicted of defrauding the Al- berta Health Care Insurance Commission. Dr. Thompson was convicted in June on 11 counts of fraud involving x-rays. Defence Counsel J. C. Cayan- agh said provincial legislation doesn't allow the use of health care commission billing forms as evidence in the case. Also the Canada Evidence Act made the provincial act the law at Canada in regard to evidence. 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