martes, 18 de septiembre de 2012

Guard killed as peasants invade Honduran estate

A security guard was killed on 18 September when "150 armed men" invaded a private estate in the lower Aguán zone in northern Honduras, the setting of ongoing disputes between peasants and landowners, the daily La Prensa reported. Police were reportedly sent to dislodge them from the Camarones estate, owned by Dinant, a chemicals firm. On 10 September "at least 100 armed men" briefly re-occupied Los Laureles, a palm oil estate also in the Aguán zone, three days after troops had thrown them out. Police arrested 34 people in the course of the second expulsion, La Prensa reported. The conflict in Aguán began in 2009, though the daily observed that Honduras's President Porfírio Lobo Sosa suspected the existence of an unspecified political agenda beyond the dispute over farming land.

Agents intercept cocaine boat off Guatemala

US and Guatemalan troops intercepted a boat carrying more than half a tonne of cocaine, at an unspecified date in international waters off Guatemala's Pacific coast, EFE reported on 18 September citing statements by the Guatemalan army. Troops also detained five unidentified crew members and suspected drug traffickers "who were immediately sent to the United States," army spokesman Erick Escobedo stated. The action was part of Operation Hammer, a multinational anti-narcotics operation that began off Central America's Atlantic coast early in 2012 and moved to Guatemala's Pacific coast in August 2012. Thirteen states participate in the operation including Colombia, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Spain. Guatemala separately hosted the Mexican president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto on 17 September, as the first stop in his tour of American states before taking office on 1 December. After meeting with President Otto Pérez Molina in the capital, Peña Nieto promised to "relaunch" ties with Guatemala and enhance them beyond issues of security and migration; he urged "common objectives" and "greater integration" to boost regional competitiveness, Europa Press reported on 18 September, citing Mexican newspapers.

Over 130 prisoners escape Mexican jail

One hundred and thirty two "federal" and local convicts broke out of the Piedras Negras prison in Castaños in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila on 17 September, though state authorities insisted none was "highly dangerous," the daily La Crónica de Hoy reported on 18 September. The prisoners reportedly drilled a hole into the prison's carpentry workshop. Guards were being investigated as the breakout occurred in the morning and the list of prisoners was read out as complete in the afternoon. The interior ministry announced it would send troops to help the state of Coahuila find the convicts, Notimex reported on 17 September. Four people were reported killed that evening in the town of Castaños as police heading toward the prison were fired on; the incident was thought related to the breakout though it was not clear who died in the shootout. Police reportedly arrested one of the convicts in Castaños that night.