miércoles, 19 de septiembre de 2012

Mexico's Zetas thought behind prison breakout

Mexico's most violent drug cartel The Zetas was thought to have organized the flight on 17 September of 132 or 134 convicts from a prison near the United States frontier, authorities reportedly declared on 18 September. Initially it was said the escapees were not highly dangerous. The Public Security chief of the state of Coahuila where the incident occurred, Jorge Luis Morán, told the Associated Press on 18 September that Zeta prisoners had organized the flight and forced some prisoners to escape with them, though others hid to avoid the operation. The information was given by prisoners who remained inside the Piedras Negras jail; staff were also being questioned. "Evidently the Zetas are behind this flight," Morán told the agency. Corroborating evidence he said included an armed attack on police driving to the prison wherein police shot dead four gunmen. Some 5,000 troops and police backed by planes were fanning the frontier zone looking for the convicts, Morán told Mexico's Milenio radio the same day.

Colombian trafficker, guerrilla held in Venezuela

Daniel Barrera Barrera - El Loco or Crazy Barrera - apparently Colombia's most sought-after gangster, was arrested on 18 September while speaking in a phone booth in the city of San Cristóbal, south-western Venezuela, the broadcaster Univisión reported. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos revealed the arrest, the result of a joint operation between the security and intelligence forces of Colombia, the United States, Venezuela and Great Britain. His suspected crimes included large-scale drug trafficking and collaboration with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), also thought to be involved in trafficking. He was believed to have sent "tonnes" of cocaine to the United States since he began working in the 1980s and was considered the last of Colombia's great traffickers. Santos said Barrera "has been harming Colombia and the world for more than 20 years, devoting himself to all manner of crimes and perverse alliances with paramilitaries and the FARC." The operation was reportedly coordinated from Washington DC by Colombia's police chief José Roberto León Riaño. On 19 September Venezuelan and Colombian agents arrested a suspected member of the FARC sought for his role in a failed bomb attack in Bogotá, EFE and media reported. Luis Freddy Rojas Rincón was injured in a shootout as Venezuelan police sought to arrest him in a hotel in Jesús María Semprún in the western department of Zulia. Rojas reportedly fled to Venezuela after failing in August 2012 to blow up a police building in Bogotá with a car bomb.

Colombian FARC chief envisages disarmament

The head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Timochenko or Timoleón Jiménez, has said the FARC had "great expectations" on ending their decades-long conflict with the Colombian state in coming peace talks and understood this could mean "a veritable farewell to arms," EFE and media reported on 19 September, citing Timochenko's comments to a magazine. Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri - Timochenko - said in an interview with the weekly Voz that "it would not make sense to start a process leading to the definitive termination of the conflict without contemplating laying down arms as the final destination." Abandonment of arms, he said, entailed "the abolition of the use of force and inciting any type of violence to achieve political or economic goals. It is a veritable farewell to arms." The FARC's disarmament is one of the issues to be discussed between the FARC and Colombian negotiators in talks scheduled to start in Havana on 8 October. Timochenko said talks would be successful if unspecified "large majorities inclined toward a political solution" were allowed to talk and  "influence" the peace process in Colombia.

Police chief missing, several killed around Mexico

The police chief of the Pueblo Nuevo district in the north-central state of Durango was reported missing on 16 September - and may have been kidnapped - El Universal reported on 19 September, citing statements by the Durango judiciary. David Barrera González was a policeman for 15 years and the district's police chief for three months. His predecessor was shot dead in late May in the ciy of El Salto in Durango, as reported in newspapers. Around Mexico: a body was found on 17 or 18 September, wrapped in a cloth with a message from cartels in the central city of Zacatecas, the Zacatecas state prosecutor Arturo Nahle García stated. Four bodies were found at unspecified dates in four districts of the state of Morelos south of Mexico City, while four individuals were killed in Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast, and one in the northern city of Juárez, El Universal reported on 19 September.

Three policemen, woman murdered outside Mexico City

Two policemen and a policewoman were shot dead in their patrol car early on 18 September as they drove to report the kidnapping of a colleague on 17 September in the Valle de Chalco district of Estado de México, El Universal reported on 18 September. The kidnapped policeman was also found dead. The three officers' bullet-ridden bodies were found inside their patrol car. Separately one of two decapitated bodies found late on 18 September in Xico next to Chalco, was identified as that of the kidnapped policeman, named as Abel N., El Universal reported on 19 September. His brother and sister-in-law were two of the officers shot dead in the police car. Police and the defence ministry were investigating the incidents, suspected to be the work of cartels.