viernes, 10 de agosto de 2012

Over 7,000 estimated killed in Mexico in six months

More than 7,000 people were apparently murdered in Mexico in the first six months of 2012, a private body found, contradicting an assertion by Mexico's outgoing president that the number of murders had fallen in the first quarter of this year, AFP reported on 9 August. The firm Lantia Consultores counted 7,022 victims of violent deaths in this period - up from 6,042 violent deaths in the second semester of 2011 - and attributed this to the "reactivation" of the fight between Mexico's two powerful drug cartels the Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel. The government of Felipe Calderon Hinojosa began to fight organised crime when it took power in 2006; the official number given for victims of the war on crime between December 2006 and September 2011 was 47,515, AFP reported, though other murder estimates for 2006-2012 have cited figures between 50,000 and 60,000.

FARC members abandon guerrilla force

Three members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) including a local commander surrendered to the authorities on 9 August, urging members of the communist insurrection to give up their decades-long fight against the Colombian state, Europa Press reported on 10 August. The three included the head of the Manuela Beltran Front of the FARC's Oriental Block, Rosember Jaramillo - Hector 44 - a male and a female colleague. Jaramillo said he was "very happy" with his choice and urged "all members of the FARC" to take part in the government's demobilization programme; he said the FARC's armed struggle was no longer "worthwhile" and "war and weapons are not the path to peace in Colombia." Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon was reported as saying that Hector 44 was the 15th commander from the Oriental Block to abandon the FARC in 2012; the FARC he said were "deteriorating" and increasingly linked to drug trafficking.