viernes, 28 de diciembre de 2012

Peruvian rebel said "at home" in remote district

A local commander of Peru's communist Shining Path rebels sought for his suspected role in dozens of killings was recently seen drinking at a bar in eastern Peru, with apparently little effort made to arrest him, the website Perú21 reported on 27 December, citing comments by a local specialist in terrorism. Jaime Antezana was reported as saying that on 15 December Martín Quispe Palomino or Comrade Gabriel and an "entourage" of 16 companions drank "for several hours" at a bar in the eastern district of Sepahua; police failed to or would not detain him in spite of calls received and the fact that an arrest warrant was out for Gabriel. The website observed the guerrilla is suspected to have killed or ordered killed some 130 people over several years. The Shining Path, which were most active in the 1980s and notorious for their brutality, are now in decline but not eliminated. Antezana said the Shining Path commander appeared to be "at home" in the locality. Separately the state was to increase military prosecutors working in the Valley of the rivers Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro - a zone called VRAEM and setting of drug trafficking and suspected guerrilla activities. The aim was to ensure troops respect legalities and civil rights while fighting armed gangs in that zone, El Peruano reported on 28 December, citing statements by the head of the Military and Police Jurisdiction, Carlos Mesa Angosto. The Jurisdiction ensures troops' compliance with the Military Justice Code. Mesa said that beside prosecutors working in the district of Pichari where the army was based, "five or six" more would be sent out to the "conflict zone" to regulate army activities, including to the districts of Satipo and Concepción in central Peru.

Body saw violent crimes increase in Venezuela

All manner of crimes increased in Venezuela in 2012 according to the private body Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia, which estimated in its latest report a total of 21,692 killings in 2012 or homicide rate of 73 per 100,000 inhabitants, Colombia's RCN La Radio reported on 27 December. The body's director told RCN radio that the figure represented an eight to 10-per-cent increase compared to 2011. The Observatorio concluded in its 2012 report that Venezuela was now one of the most violent of countries, in spite of "valuable" measures taken by the socialist government to curb crime. Its director Roberto Briceño-León said there had been a "sustained" increase in crimes since 1999 when he said Venezuela had a homicide rate of 19 per 100,000 inhabitants. He said "Venezuela is currently the most violent state in Latin America...a position of dubious honour it shares with Honduras, to some extent with El Salvador, but it has been a process of continuous growth when this has diminished in Colombia." A summary of its report cited the Venezuelan states with the highest homicide rates as the Capital District including Caracas, with 122/100,000 followed by the state of Miranda with 100/100,000 and Aragua south-west of Caracas with 92. The lowest homicide rates were seen in the southern and western states of Amazonas and Mérida, with 42 and 41/100,000. The report observed however that violence had spread to all parts of Venezuela; "killings increased in houses and on the streets. Assassinations have become the means of committing crimes against property, a mechanism for resolving personal disputes or between neighbours and a form of implementing private justice." The body noted a "loss of respect for police authority" manifest in the figure it cited of one policeman or police official killed every day in Venezuela in 2012. Authorities it stated counted 583 kidnappings - as these were reported - but there were "thousands that are not reported. Kidnapping stopped being a crime aimed at the rich and affects middle-class and working families." Kidnappers it added, were now more competent and flexible.

Mexican troops gun down traffickers, bodies found

Mexican soldiers shot dead at an unspecified date five men identified as members of The Zetas drug cartel, in the district of Córdoba in the east-coast state of Veracruz, the daily Milenio reported on 27 December. Three cars, arms and a rocket launcher were confiscated after the shootout. State authorities identified one of the killed as the Zetas' chief in the Córdoba district, a man dubbed El Pokemón. Authorities in the northern state of Nuevo León presented five detainees on 27 December also identified as Zetas and suspected as involved in at least 22 killings as well as drug dealing in northern Nuevo León, El Universal reported. They were detained in the district of Anáhuac; the state security spokesman Jorge Domene Zambrano said the gang's victims were mostly thought to be members of the rival Gulf Cartel whose bodies were burned on local ranches forcibly taken over by the gang. Ten bodies were separately found in graves in the north-central state of Zacatecas on 26 December; three were found in a secret grave in the locality of Sauceda de la Borda north of the city of Zacatecas, after neighbours called the police for the putrid smell, Milenio reported, citing Notimex. Seven were found further north in the district of Miguel Auza, El Universal reported.