martes, 4 de septiembre de 2012

Former Colombian "drug queen," guerrilla reported killed

Griselda Blanco, a former "Queen of Cocaine" and considered a pioneer of drug trafficking in the 1970s was shot dead on 3 September in Medellín, north-western Colombia, EFE agency reported. Blanco - a chubby 69-year-old also dubbed "Potato" or the "Godmother" - was shot several times in the head by an assassin riding a motorbike, as she left a butcher's shop. Biographical sources cited by EFE credited her with the "idea of exporting cocaine" to the United States. In 1985 she was convicted of drug trafficking in the United States and jailed to 2004 when she was deported to Colombia. Reputedly very rich, she led a clandestine life in recent years. Separately a Colombian NGO claimed that the communist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) may have executed in January 2012 one of their commanders and brother of the FARC military chief killed in an army raid in 2010, EFE reported on 3 September. Noé Suárez Rojas, brother of Víctor Julio Suárez Rojas - El Mono Jojoy - was apparently killed for several reasons including his incompetence in battle that provoked a FARC defeat at the hands of leftist ELN guerrillas in 2006 in the eastern Arauca region, according to the NGO Arcoiris, which reports on Colombian politics. Suárez also failed to obey several orders from the FARC's top command in the 2006-12 period. He was sought by the United States for his suspected role in crimes including drug trafficking and the kidnapping and murder of three US citizens in 1999. Suárez's execution was not confirmed by military sources. Mono Jojoy, commander of the FARC's Eastern Bloc and member of its secretariat, was killed by the army in 2010.

Army, guerrillas clash in Colombia

Seven guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were killed and five captured by troops in an operation on 3 September in the municipality of Puerto Concordia, central Colombia, EFE reported. Colombia's Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón said that day in Bucaramanga in north-eastern Colombia that troops would continue to fight the FARC "while armed groups continue to insist on terrorism," in spite of talks plannned for October between the state and the FARC. He ruled out any ceasefire during a process of talks. Pinzón said troops also shot dead three FARC guerrillas and captured two on 1-2 September in the southern department of Caquetá, while three guerrillas abandoned the FARC in different parts of the country.