jueves, 11 de octubre de 2012

Hugo Chávez victory irks Colombia's Uribe

Colombia's former conservative president Álvaro Uribe Vélez said in Washington DC on 11 October that he "could not explain" the recent re-election of the socialist Hugo Chávez as Venezuelan president and vowed to continue criticizing his regime whether or not he returned to public life. Uribe was in the United States to promote his book No hay causa perdida (No Lost Causes), EFE reported. Speaking at the National Press Club, Uribe said "the rule of law is daily violated in Venezuela" and Chávez had created a "Cuban-style regime and protected Colombian terrorists," meaning the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He said Chávez, a "declared accomplice of terrorists," was presenting himself as "a promoter of peace in Colombia," with the approval of the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. He reiterated his opposition to the Santos government's decision to talk with the FARC to end decades of guerrilla conflict in Colombia. Santos he said had neglected security and placed "all the emphasis on conversations" with the FARC, adding "I do not agree with dialogue with criminals who have not stopped their criminal activities." Santos was defence minister when Uribe was president in 2002-10, and helped implement Uribe's iron-fist strategy against the FARC. Uribe said he could not understand why "this government" was changing laws to allow "those guilty of extortion, kidnappings, drug trafficking and violations of humanitarian law" to participate one day in Colombian politics. The social reintegration of guerrillas is among issues to be discussed in planned talks between Colombia and the FARC.

Venezuelan minister appointed vice-president

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro Moros was appointed vice-president on 10 October, replacing Elías Jaua Milano who was to prepare for regional elections due on 16 December, agencies reported. Recently re-elected President Hugo Chávez made the appointment during the formal confirmation of his victory at the seat of the National Electoral Commission (CNE), El Universal reported. He thanked Jaua and his family for their hard work "and for putting up with me." Maduro he declared had been "a great public servant all these years," as foreign minister from 2006 and as a deputy-prime minister since 2010. He told him to prepare for "micro-missions whose specific objective" was presumably to take government initiatives to "that little village, that school or that district. The micro-missions will be gigantic because they will be based on popular power, the organized people" and "masters" of Venezuela. He did not elaborate. Before the appointment, the CNE formally confirmed his victory and its president Tibisay Lucena said Chávez had won 8,136,637 or 55.26 per cent of all votes, compared to 6,499,575 votes cast for the runner-up Henrique Capriles. Jaua was expected to run in December for the governorship of the northern state of Miranda, AFP reported.

Fourteen violent deaths reported around Mexico

The criminal death toll reported for Mexico on 10 October was 14, with certain incidents outstanding in their cruelty, the review Proceso reported that day. Two women in their 30s were found dead on the road between the northern cities of Saltillo and Monterrey; investigators concluded they were beaten with wooden planks and strangled, beside suffering "sadistic tortures." In Apodaca next to Monterrey, Nuevo León State police shot dead Jesús Reynaldo Sies, a presumed local head of The Zetas drug cartel. He was travelling in a police car, under the escort and apparent protection of four municipal policemen from nearby Pesquería; they were arrested. The operation led to the discovery of a nearby "camp" used by traffickers, where police found burned human remains and a kidnapped individual, Proceso reported. Three young men were found dead north of the eastern port of Veracruz - beaten to death apparently by members of the cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación who left a note by their bodies stating "this happened to me for thieving and kidnapping." Five including a woman and her baby were also gunned down in and outside a house in Emiliano Zapata in the south-central state of Morelos. Police found drugs in the house, Proceso reported.