jueves, 7 de febrero de 2013

El Salvador officials say murders continue to fall

Officials declared on 6 February that El Salvador's homicide figures were in January 2013 less than half those of January 2012, even as they admitted that a ceasefire between gangs that helped reduce murders had yet to end violent crime in El Salvador. The Security and Justice Minister David Mungía Payés told a San Salvador press conference that authorities counted 190 homicides in January 2013, 54 per cent less than the 413 for January 2012. He attributed this as on previous occasions to police action and the ceasefire between the Mara street gangs. Extortions reported in January dropped 18 per cent year-on-year, he said. Munguía admitted there had been a slight rise in violent acts recently in spite of the ceasefire and that "purges" were going in the gangs including in districts selected as crime-free zones; "we have entered a process that has helped us reduce violence, but this has not finished. The ceasefire is not a perfect process," he said. He attributed the killings of four on 1 February in the city of San Miguel east of San Salvador to gang rivalries. The latest victims of crime in El Salvador were two cousins aged 15 and 16 years, earlier reported as kidnapped and found dead on 5 or 6 February in Apopa, a district north of San Salvador, elsalvador.com reported. Most or all readers' comments left on various websites reporting such crimes indicated that the public was entirely skeptical, and often contemptuous, of official declarations on improving crime figures.

Guerrilla bomb kills two in south-western Colombia

Two were killed on 5 February as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) exploded a car bomb near the village or town of El Palo in the Cauca department, Europa Press reported, citing Colombian media. The FARC reportedly intended to detonate the artefact inside the town but were foiled by the arrival of troops and shooting that followed. The victims were provisionally identified as a soldier and a civilian. Colombia's police chief José Roberto León Riaño ordered the security of police stations boosted on 6 February in response to a recent resurgence of FARC activities. He said 14 policemen had died in January for FARC attacks, Europa Press and El Espectador reported. A priest was also reported killed at home on 3 January in the district of Riosucio in the western department of Caldas, Europa Press reported, citing the Catholic agency MISNA. Father José Ancízar Mejía Palomino, aged 84, was the third priest to have been killed in the preceding 20 days, Europa Press reported.