GUATEMALA

U.S. Marines start patrols

A team of 200 U.S. Marines began patrolling Guatemala’s western coast this week in an unprecedented operation to beat drug traffickers in the Central America region, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday. The Marines are deployed as part of Operation Martillo, a broader effort started last Jan. 15 to stop drug trafficking along the Central American coast. Focused exclusively on drug dealers in airplanes or boats, the U.S.-led operation involves troops or law enforcement agents from Belize, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama and Spain.

VENEZUELA

Report of jungle massacre

A group of Yanomami Indians said a remote Amazon community in Venezuela suffered a recent massacre of unknown proportion. They called for authorities to travel to the village to investigate, saying residents of a nearby community reported dozens slain. The Horonami Yanomami Organization said in a news release that the community of Irotatheri was attacked last month in southern Venezuela near the border with Brazil and that Brazilian gold miners are suspected. Luis Shatiwe Ahiwei, a leader of the group, said visitors from a nearby village found the community’s circular hut torched, and charred bodies. He said it’s unclear how many people were killed. But he said the witnesses sent word that about 80 people lived in Irotatheri and that they found only three survivors who had fled into the jungle.

AUSTRALIA

Migrants missing at sea

Six asylum seekers were plucked from the ocean in pre-dawn darkness today in a mounting rescue operation after a boat reportedly carrying 150 people sank off the Indonesian coast, an official said. The emergency was the latest in a series created by a growing human smuggling trade in which thousands of would-be refugees from countries including Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka travel in overcrowded fishing boats from Indonesia to Australia. More than 90 died when two boats sank within a week in June and more than 300 have lost their lives making the perilous journey since last December.

Compiled from wire reports.