martes, 11 de diciembre de 2012

Hugo Chávez stirs emotions, sympathies in illness

Moved to tears by his own words or by circumstances, Venezuela's acting president Nicolás Maduro reiterated in public on 10 December the enduring loyalty of Venezuelans to President Hugo Chávez, who was in Cuba for treatment of a resurgent cancer. Maduro was shown speaking to a crowd of supporters, many also in tears, at the inauguration of a cable-car line in Caracas; on 8 December Chávez handed him his powers for his "temporary absence," though opposition politicians were demanding by 10 December that the public be told of the president's state of health. Certain opposition members, and the US State Department, urged that constitutional provisions be respected in case of a power transition, Globovisión reported on 10 December. This meant general elections must be called if Chávez were unable to return to work. Vice-President Maduro prayed for recovery however and said "Chávez has a people, he has us and will have us for ever in this battle from victory to victory," EFE reported. Messages of encouragement and sympathy were emitted by American governments of all persuasions; Ecuador's Rafael Correa was visiting him in Cuba. In Argentina, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner recalled speaking in Buenos Aires in 9 December that Chávez had helped "Argentina when nobody was helping it," and asked God to "give him back" his health, Venezuela's El Universal reported. The daily observed on 11 December that the illness was of particular concern to Nicaragua's Sandinista regime, a recipient of generous financial help from Venezuela since 2007.

Ten reported shot dead around Mexico

Five policemen and a musician were among ten gunned down by suspected criminals in incidents around Mexico on 9-10 December, Proceso reported. Three of the policemen were shot dead in the northern frontier city of Juárez, in attacks the local Public Security or police chief said were likely a reaction to the arrest on 6 December of 15 members of the gang Los Aztecas. Another policeman was shot dead on 10 December while driving in the district of Gómez Palacio in the nothern state of Durango, and another the same day in the west-coast port of Acapulco. Two taxi drivers were also killed that day in Acapulco, Milenio reported. A 23-year-old musician was found dead by a road on 10 December in the north-western state of Sinaloa, a day after being reported kidnapped there in the district of Choix where he lived, El Universal and Proceso reported. Jesús Manuel Martínez Araujo played the guitar in the group Los Herederos; he was apparently beaten, stabbed and shot to death. Police separately arrested on 10 December two local drug dealers and presumed collaborators of The Zetas cartel in the northern frontier city of Piedras Negras. The two men aged 20 and 23, were found with communication equipment and told police they acted as watchmen for the cartel, informing it of police and troop movements, Milenio reported.