lunes, 4 de febrero de 2013

Over 30 killed, found dead, in pieces around Mexico

Nineteen were reported killed or found dead in incidents around Mexico over 31 January-1 February, and more in following days in kidnappings, executions and shootouts between state forces and suspected criminals. Among the 19 were seven suspected gangsters shot dead by soldiers on 1 February in the north-eastern district of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas, and five youngsters aged 18-22 years, shot dead then left outside the town hall of Tecpan de Galeana in the western state of Guerrero. Proceso reported separately on 2 February the deaths at an unspecified date of four car dealers from the western state of Michoacán, apparently after they were kidnapped in Tamaulipas and in spite of their families paying ransom for them twice. The four went to Ciudad Victoria on 10 January to buy cars; they were buried in the locality of Cuitzeo in Michoacán on 1 February, Proceso reported. The review also reported two murders, of a woman and a man on 3 February in the north-central and central districts of Zacatecas and Ecatepec respectively; a message was found by her body, presumably left by her assassins. Two municipal policemen were reported shot dead in the north of the east-coast state of Veracruz early on 3 February, while the dismembered body of a transport official was left on 2 February at a petrol station in Gómez Palacio in the state of Durango. In Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas, seven suspected criminals were killed in two gun battles in the city on 2 February, La Crónica de Hoy reported. Authorities made a public presentation on 3 February of 18 detainees thought involved in the killings of six or more people in Toluca in the central Estado de México in late January, Milenio reported. These were thought to have formed three criminal cells involved in activities including theft and drug dealing, and caught through collaboration between marines, federal police and state security authorities. The review Proceso stated they were presumed members of the cartel La Familia Michoacana.

FARC bomb attacks reported around Colombia

Authorities blamed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for a bomb attack that destroyed a school building in the locality of Balsillas in the southern Caquetá department late on 2 February, Colombia's national radio reported. A police colonel was cited as saying that he suspected the attack was a trap intended to attract and kill soldiers; the building was used to teach and lodge some 60 children, media reported. An explosion in a rural part of the north-western district of Ituango in the department of Antióquia, reported on 4 Feburary and provisionally attributed to the FARC, killed on person and injured five including a child. The police chief of Antióquia Colonel Gustavo Chavarro said four soldiers were among the injured, and security agents were investigating the zone, RCN La Radio reported. Separately an "armed strike" which the FARC are reported to have imposed on the east-coast department of Chocó was said to have cut circulation on its roads by 90 per cent. Frank Kenes, the head of a bus or transport terminal in the city of Quibdó told Colombia's national radio on 4 February that circulation had particularly decreased from Quibdó to the district of Pereira in the department of Risaralda east of Chocó, adding that certain goods and products might begin to become scarce around Chocó in following hours.

Troops kill three Colombian rebels, hostages to be freed

Colombian troops shot dead three fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) during operations on 3 February in the district of La Macarena in the south-central department Meta, while a fourth guerrilla, aged 15 years, was caught and handed over to child welfare authorities. The army stated that two other guerrillas surrendered or left the FARC that day, Europa Press reported, citing the Cali newspaper El Tiempo. A rifle, machine gun and mortar were confiscated. The FARC stated in a communiqué on 1 February that they held two policemen kidnapped on 25 January and a soldier kidnapped on 30 January during fighting in the department of Nariño, and intended to release them, the broadcaster Caracol reported on 2 February. The communiqué declared the servicemen to be in good condition and specified that Colombianos y Colombianas por la Paz, a political formation sympathetic to the FARC, must participate in the release, to be "accompanied" it added by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Colombianos is headed by the former senator Piedad Córdoba who has intermittently acted as a mediator between the FARC and the Colombian state. She said on 2 February that she was waiting for the government's permission before meeting with the Red Cross to begin the hostages' release, Caracol reported.