March 6, 2002

Castro: All arrested in December slaying

                 HAVANA, Cuba (AP) -- Authorities have arrested all of those responsible in
                 the December slaying of five people - including a couple visiting from Miami
                 - on a provincial highway in central Cuba, President Fidel Castro said in
                 comments published Wednesday by state media.

                 "The police worked very hard," Castro said at the end of a lengthy discourse on
                 national television Tuesday night. "We found out everything, down to the last

                 But Castro didn't publicly reveal any of those details during his brief statement on
                 the mass murder, which he said "was especially repugnant" because it included the
                 killing of an 8-year-old boy.

                 At the time of the slayings, the government-controlled media did not report anything
                 at all about the crime.

                 The FBI in Miami confirmed in January that it was working with Cuban authorities
                 to help solve the case.

                 The killings occurred in mid-December during an apparent robbery attempt in
                 Matanzas province when the group was traveling in a car eastbound from Havana
                 to visit relatives in the central city of Santa Clara.

                 Four of the victims were identified as members of the same family -- including the
                 boy -- and the fifth was identified as a family friend who was driving the car.

                 Murders are relatively rare in this communist country, and mass murders are
                 unheard of. Killings of visitors to Cuba, which depends heavily upon dollars
                 generated by foreign tourism, are especially unusual.

                 Relatives in south Florida have identified the victims as Ada Lorenzo, 52, and
                 Celedonio Placencia, 62, Cuban-born legal U.S. residents living in the Miami area;
                 their grandson Daniel Osmani Placencia, 8; and their daughter Yailen Placencia, 28,
                 both of Cuba; and Domingo Delgado, who was driving the car.

                  Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.