Miami Feds Extradite Filipino Murder Suspect

Maybe it's the palm trees, the sunny weather, the women on the beach. Maybe it's the welcoming international culture. Maybe it's the ready supply of blow.

Who knows? But there's definitely something about Miami that appeals to murderous despots and wanted criminals of all nationalities, from ex-Venezuelan dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez to your everyday Peruvian genocidal military commanders.

Alas, the heavy hand of justice caught up with one of our town's international criminals in residence this week. Miami's FBI office hauled in one Cezar Ochoco Mancao II, a 38-year-old Filipino wanted in his homeland for allegedly murdering two men as the head of a local police task force, according to a release sent to Riptide.

Mancao, who's been hanging out in Pembroke Pines, is accused of abducting a well known public relations specialist and his driver in Manilla in 2000, taking them to a creek bed, strangling them, then tossing their bodies on a burning pile of garbage and tires. Charming guy.

One Miami resident you shouldn't expect to see extradicted anytime soon is Carlos Sanchez Berzain. Bolivia has asked the U.S. to send home the former defense minister to try him for leading a goverment crackdown that killed 67 protesters. But President Bush doesn't like Bolivian President Evo Morales. And President-elect Obama's newly minted chief counsel, Greg Craig, happens to be Sanchez Berzain's own chief counsel in a civil suit here in Miami.

-- Tim Elfrink

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