viernes, 14 de diciembre de 2012

Police detain 16 suspects around Guatemala City

Police detained 16 suspected criminals on 13 December during raids and interventions in the department of Guatemala surrounding the capital; the suspects were sought for presumed involvement in a range of crimes including robbing minibuses, extortion and killings, the daily Prensa Libre reported on 14 December. The daily reported at least six violent deaths on 12-14 December. Four of the victims were found on 12 and 13 December as decapitated bodies in the district of Sanarate north of the capital; one body was identified as belonging to an 18-year-old girl, Prensa Libre reported.

Venezuelan officials cautious on president's health

Venezuela's acting president Nicolás Maduro told a gathering outside Caracas on 13 December that President Hugo Chávez had gone from a "stable to favourable" state as he recovered in Cuba from his fourth operation for a cancer first diagnosed in 2011; he stated however that Chávez previously instructed officials to prepare Venezuelans for "any circumstance." Both he and Venezuela's information minister have spoken of the operation's complexity and of unforeseen bleeding that had required "corrective measures," partly divulging the relevant medical reports. Maduro was speaking at a rally to close the campaign of Tareck El-Aissami, the socialist candidate to become governor of the northern state of Aragua west of the capital, Venezuela's El Universal reported. Venezuela was holding elections state governments on 16 December. He praised Chávez who he said had made Venezuelans better people than they were "five years ago or 10, and our country is infinitely better than 15, 20" or 100 years before. Individualism he said had given way to "humanism" under Chávez, and "when humanity lives socialism, it will live in the Kingdom of Heaven as Chávez has said...we are living a miracle right in the 21st century." Allusions to the other world may have been disconcerting to some, given the uncertainty over the president's health. El Universal cited the country's Information Minister Ernesto Villegas Poljak as commenting that given complications, a "time of caution" was needed before the president could be described as recovering. The former liberal presidential candidate and governor of the state of Miranda Henrique Capriles was reported on 14 December as objecting to what he said was Venezuelan officials' electoral usage of "a person's pain," while expressing sympathy for Chávez. Elections for state governors he said, had "nothing to do with the president's health, so enough of manipulating our people," for whom he asked for more "respect," the Colombian broadcaster Caracol reported.

Fifteen reported killed around Mexico

Some 15 people were reported shot or found dead in incidents around Mexico on 11-13 December, including a pregnant woman shot with four others in a restaurant in northern Mexico. Gunmen were said to have entered a restaurant in Nuevo Laredo on the US frontier, and shot dead five employees including the woman, Proceso reported on 13 December. Four gunmen were shot dead by the army in the western state of Guerrero, reportedly after they began shooting at troops who ordered them stop on a motorway early on 13 December, the commander of the Ninth Military Region Guillermo Moreno Serrano was reported as saying. Police separately shot dead a suspect and arrested two after a shootout on 13 December in the district of Calera in the north-central state of Zacatecas, Milenio reported. The suspects began shooting at one or more police cars driving toward Fresnillo, a city north of Calera, the Zacatecas Public Security chief declared. Soldiers freed a kidnapped woman in Fresnillo on 12 December and arrested four presumed kidnappers, after another woman they held held escaped and informed the police, Milenio reported on 14 December. On 13 December police freed a 20-year-old man held by a gang of three in the western district of Tequila, Milenio and Notimex reported. Also on 13 December, the governor of the state of Chihuahua César Duarte Jáquez ruled out that troops could help police patrol the streets of Ciudad Juárez in his state as announced earlier by a local army commander. Duarte said troops in the city "only provoke tensions in society" and the last time soldiers patrolled Juárez the city lived a "war siege," Proceso reported. It was up to state and municipal authorities to fight crime, he said, using intelligence work and the "clear" pursuit of crimes.