viernes, 12 de octubre de 2012

Hugo Chávez seen with key role in Colombian talks

Álvaro Leyva Durán, a former Colombian minister and "facilitator" of previous parleys with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), speculated that the outcome of peace talks with the FARC, to begin on 15-17 October, would depend more on the interventions of Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chávez than on the Colombian president's "goodwill." Venezuela is "accompanying" talks intended to end decades of guerrilla conflict in Colombia, and seen as having considerable leverage with the FARC. Leyva recently told the newspaper El Colombiano that he was certain President Juan Manuel Santos had "shared the keys" to the talks with Chávez, "to hasten the dialogue." It is "important people should know this. This process will have more to do with what Chávez can do than any goodwill the president might have" he said in remarks published on 12 October. He observed that the conflict with the FARC was now "internationalized" in spite of being internal, for its ideological nature and with the United States' involvement, for the FARC's alleged drug trafficking. To attain lasting peace he said, Colombia would have to unilaterally impose a "full-stop" legal formula ruling out subsequent prosecution and arrests of those involved in the conflict. "I do not think the gentlemen of the FARC...will submit to formulae...applied to the paramilitaries. They do not submit because they believe this implies juridical insecurity," Leyva said, referring to disarmament conditions for thousands of right-wing paramilitaries. Some paramilitary leaders were now serving jail terms for different crimes. Leyva said such a formula should cover "all those who are a part of this conflict," allegedly many. The war was not just with the FARC he said, but with "those who financed the war, with banana growers; there are many officials who combined their strengths and desire to overcome the enemy with the paramilitaries. Many civil servants lost control." Leyva, a member of the Conservative Party, was Colombia's mines and energy minister in 1984-5. Also on 12 October the FARC published on a website a message sent earlier to congratulate Hugo Chávez on his re-election to the presidency on 7 October, EFE reported.

Twelve killed in Mexico, Zetas admit mayors' murders

Twelve people were reported killed in Mexico on 11 October, including two policemen. Five including a police commander were killed after gunmen ambushed a police patrol in the north-western city of Culiacán, Proceso reported. Reinforcements arrived to help the police, prompting pursuits and prolonged gun fights in a section of the city; troops chased three of the assailants in their car, caught and shot them dead. Another policeman reportedly died that day in the south-central state of Morelos, as he checked on a car. In the western city of Guadalajara, three bus drivers and a public-transport employee were shot dead in three different incidents, with members of the cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación leaving an unspecified message at the site of one killing, El Universal reported. Separately the prosecutor's office of the eastern state of Veracruz stated on 11 October that recent arrests and confessions by two members of The Zetas drug cartel had clarified details of three assassinations in the state of Veracruz, of the mayoress Marisol Mora Cuevas last June and of a former mayor Nahúm Tress Mánica and his son Óscar Nahúm Tress, shot dead in August while travelling by car. Prosecutors said Carlos Carmona Caballero and his accomplice José Manuel Márquez Apodaca arrested with three suspected criminals on 5 October, confessed to organizing the murders, because they said the officials had refused to continue paying extortion money to The Zetas. Also in an apparent act of retaliation on 11 October, suspected gangsters shot and injured the sister of a marine involved in the shootout that killed The Zetas' chief on 7 October, attacking her home in the east-coast state of Tabasco, the website Animal Político reported.