martes, 5 de febrero de 2013
Masked individuals identifying themselves as members of a self-styled community police briefly kidnapped a child in the Ayutla district of the western Mexican state of Guerrero on 4 February, prompting community police chiefs to order their policemen to work unmasked. The masks were very likely intended to help community policemen avoid identification by the criminals they have vowed to fight. Residents of at least four districts in Guerrero have formed the militias to police their part of the state, in response to the authorities' inability to curb violent crime. State authorities and civil observers have already expressed concern about the legalit of such armed groups, but locals have in turn denounced the state's failure to assure security. After the kidnapping, three local community police chiefs decided their policemen would only bear masks during "operations" or patrols, La Crónica de Hoy reported on 5 February. Community forces detained dozens of suspected criminals during January at road blocks set up around relevant districts; they recently announced relatives of 54 detainees held in the locality of El Mesón could visit on Sundays. Separately in the resort of Acapulco in Guerrero masked men raped six or seven female tourists lodged in bungalows on the edge of the city on the night of 4-5 February, media reported. Six were Spanish and one Mexican, and seven Spanish men who were with them were tied up; their belongings were robbed. The group later received medical assistance and counselling, Europa Press reported on 5 February.
Authorities were investigating a bomb and gun attack on a police post in southern Colombia that killed a policeman on 4 February, although the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were suspected as possible culprits, El Espectador reported on 5 February. Elements dressed in army uniforms were reported to have fired on the police post for 45 minutes and exploded a bomb at its entrance, in the Nátaga district in the department of Huila. The mayor of Nátaga told Colombia's national radio that the attack by "a group of heavily armed men" also damaged the local hospital. Colombia's other guerrilla force, the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced on 4 February that it held two individuals it identified as suspected German spies, El Espectador reported. These it stated were kidnapped weeks before in the countryside of the northern district of Catatumbo, while "in the weeks they have been detained they have been unable to justify their presence in the said territory, for which reason they are considered, so far, to be intelligence agents and will continue to be investigated." The ELN stated that nobody nor any institution had publicized their disappearance and warned "spies are not protected by International Humanitarian Law." The German Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping but described the hostages as pensioners travelling in Colombia, EFE reported. President Juan Manuel Santos in turn called the ELN "liars" and said the Marxist rebels were responsible for the Germans' lives. He asked "who could imagine two Germans spying something or other here in Colombia. That is an excuse no reasonable person can accept or understand," Colombia's national radio reported on 4 February. The FARC were separately reported to have kidnapped two oil-sector employees in the southern department of Putumayo, Europa Press reported on 5 February citing Caracol. The two were identified as an electrician and a mechanic working for the firm MASA (Mecánicos Asociados), and reported taken in the Orito district, near Ecuador's frontier.
The body of Jairo Alberto Díaz, a 24-year-old policeman who disappeared on 27 January in Bogotá's north-eastern district of Usaquén was found on 4 February, and police were unsure if he had died by accident or been killed as he was found in a spot that had already been searched. Dozens of police agents had searched for him in Usaquén and surrounding areas and the city's police chief initially suspected he had been kidnapped by a gang. A red plastic bag found over him may have hidden him, it was speculated. Coroners were examining the body to determine possible causes of death, the broadcaster Caracol reported. His father told Caracol radio on 5 February that he was convinced "he was killed," as indicated he said by the fact that the body had not decomposed after an absence of nine days. After days of hoping to find his son alive, "what are we going to do now?" he asked in grief.