jueves, 11 de abril de 2013

Over 60 killed around Mexico in days, minister says crime down

Thirty nine were reported executed or killed in gunfights around Mexico from late 9-10 April, 14 of them at least in the western state of Michoacán, Proceso reported. In that state the army and police shot dead between 14 and 17 suspected criminals or armed civilians in gunfights in the districts of Uruapan and Apatzingán. Authorities identified one of the dead as head of the cartel Caballeros templarios in several districts of Michoacán including Uruapan, La Jornada reported on 11 April. The 39 also included seven executed in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, five of whom were young men found almost naked, with "torture" signs on their bodies. Two messages left beside them alleged they were thieves or kidnappers, and warned "the cleansing has begun." Another victim in Acapulco was a local policeman shot to death after leaving his children at school. Seven were separately executed in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas over 6-8 April, including two identified as army informants and thought killed by the Zetas cartel, Proceso reported. The review counted "at least" 15 other victims of crime on 8-9 April. These included a local director of the steel firm ArcelorMittal, found dead in a ditch near the port of Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacán, three armoured-van guards shot in Zamora in Michoacán, three women including a mother and daughter shot dead in Acapulco and a 19-year-old with a criminal record apparently executed in the north-western city of Ciudad Obregón. On 10 April, the interior ministry (Gobernación) stated in a report that murders and kidnappings dropped in Mexico in the first four months of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, who took power on 1 December 2012. The interior minister, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, told the press that the report showed a 17.1-per-cent fall in homicides and 25-per-cent drop in kidnappings in that period compared to the last four months of the preceding presidency, La Crónica de Hoy reported. Osorio said this was an incipient "trend" subject to immediate changes: "nobody, I am saying it is very early, should be surprised if this tends to go up or...down....we are aware we still have some way to go and the result Mexicans expect," he said. The ministry report counted 4,249 victims of  homicides - many thought linked to drugs and cartels - from December 2012 to 25 March or the end of March 2013, compared to 5,127 victims for the last months of the government of Felipe Calderón. Osorio Chong also compared 202 registered homicides for the first week of April 2013 to the 308 reported killed in the same week in 2012.

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