lunes, 30 de julio de 2012

Troops detain 34 in northern Mexico

Troops detained 34 suspected criminals and freed a presumed kidnapping victim in operations in 22-27 July in the state of Tamaulipas, north-eastern Mexico, La Crónica de Hoy and Notimex reported on 30 July. The defence ministry stated that soldiers also confiscated items including 74 rifles, handguns, ammunition, about 2.5 tonnes of marijuana, 74 doses of cocaine powder and 38 cars.

Seventeen reported killed around Guatemala

Seventeen people were shot dead or found dead on 29-30 July and several others injured following criminal attacks in different parts of Guatemala, Prensa Libre reported on 30 July. The victims included a 26-year-old shot dead in the capital for refusing to hand over his mobile phone to a thief, a 20-year-old security guard shot dead when going home, a 20-year-old shot dead in his grocery shop in Santa Catarina Pinula, a district south of the capital, and two children or teenagers killed in an armed attack in the capital.

ELN guerrillas confirm holding contractors

The communist National Liberation Army (ELN) confirmed in a communiqué on 29 July that it held two contractors reported kidnapped on 24 July, also claiming responsibility for the death of an oil-sector employee in north-eastern Colombia, Europa Press reported on 30 July. It confirmed that Elida Parra Alfonso and Gina Paola Uribe Villamizar, contractors working with the Bicentennial Pipeline project, were kidnapped by the Eastern War Front (Frente Guerra Oriental) in Saravena in the Arauca department. This front, it stated, also killed Ricardo Mora Díaz, an administrator working for an oil compnay in Arauca. The ELN threatened attacks on oil installations in the north-eastern Norte de Santander department, similar to a reported attack on 23 July on the Caño-Limon Coveñas pipeline.

FARC guerrillas release pilots, fighting reported

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) released as promised on 30 July the two helicopter pilots they kidnapped earlier in the month, handing them over to mediators in the district of Argelia in the Cauca department, south-western Colombia, Europa Press reported on 30 July. One of the pilots Juan Carlos Álvarez told local media in the departmental capital Popayán that they had been treated well but that "captivity is captivity." His companion Alejandro de Jesús Ocampo said "you never know what is going to happen." Separately, soldiers and FARC guerrillas were reportedly engaged in fire fights on 29 and 30 July around the town of Toribío, in northern Cauca. The FARC began shellling or firing at army positions in the localities of Berlín, La Palma and El Manzano, a few kilometres from the centre of the town of Toribío, Europa Press reported on 30 July.