viernes, 8 de febrero de 2013

Honduras confiscates cash, begins anti-crime drive

Police declared they had arrested a man and found USD 1.1 million in an anti-drugs operation in the locality of Rancho Escondido in the northern department of Olancho on 6 February, while six suspected drug traffickers fled the scene in a helicopter, the daily El Heraldo reported. The find, the fruit of joint action by several police teams, included rifles and assault guns, two "luxury cars" and motorbikes suspected as belonging to traffickers. Separately a court ordered confiscated USD 200,000 taken from a Nicaraguan as he sought to enter Honduras by car in August 2012. Money and ammunition for a range of guns were found in his car at Las Manos on the frontier between Honduras and Nicaragua; the driver failed then to explain to police its provenance and purpose, El Heraldo reported on 7 February. The competent court ordered transferred to the Honduran state the car and cash and ammunition found inside. On 8 February police and the army began the Liberty operation designed to curb crime by constant patrolling in Tegucicalpa and the northern city of San Pedro Sula, recently cited as the world's most murderous city. The head of the armed forces joint headquarters René Osorio Canales said the operation was to be around-the-clock, though its duration was not specified, Proceso Digital reported.

Sixteen killed around Mexico, 11 detained

At least 13 were reported killed or found dead in incidents around Mexico on 5-6 February, including nine policemen and a priest, the review Proceso reported. The state policemen of Guerrero were ambushed and killed on 5 February as they patrolled by car the district of Apaxtla de Castrejón, half way between Mexico City and the western coast. A suspected criminal was reportedly killed in a shootout with police before this ambush in nearby Teloloapán, though it was not clear the incidents were related. In the western district of Colima, an elderly priest was severely beaten inside a church on 6 February, later dying in hospital, for motives that were not immediately clear, Proceso reported. The Bishop of Colima urged authorities "not just to investigate" the crime but "punish whoever turns out to be the culprit." In the south-central city of Cuernavaca early on 8 February, police shot dead three bodyguards of the chief prosecutor of the state of Morelos Rodrigo Dorantes Salgado, apparently by mistake, Milenio reported, citing Notimex. Authorities were investigating. In the central state of Guanajuato, authorities presented to the press on 7 February 11 detainees identified as members of the cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, and suspected as involved in crimes including several killings since 2012, Proceso reported.

Mexican, Honduran cities top homicides ranking

The Citizens' Council for Public Security and Penal Justice (Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y Justicia Penal), an independent crime-and-rights observer body in Mexico, published its 2012 list of cities with the highest murder rates; as in previous years, Latin American cities retained their preeminence in spite of "jostling" among them. San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras remained, according to figures obtained, the most murderous city in the world in 2012 with a homicide rate of 169.3 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Acapulco on Mexico's western coast was the second city for homicides, with a rate of just under 143/100,000 inhabitants, the Council found. Its ranking for 2012 included:

3 - Caracas, Venezuela with 118.89 homicides/100,000 inhabitants,
4 - Tegucicalpa/capital district of Honduras, 101.99/100,000
5 - Torreón in northern Mexico 94.72
6 - Maceió in Brazil 85.88
7 - Cali, Colombia 79.27
8 - Nuevo Laredo in north-eastern Mexico 72.85
9 - Barquisimeto, Venezuela 71.74
12 - Guatemala City, 67.36
15 - Culiacán in north-western Mexico, 62.06
18 - Cuernavaca, central Mexico, 56.08
19 - Ciudad Juárez, northern Mexico, 55.91
20 - Ciudad Guyana, Venezuela, 55.03
21 - Detroit, United States, 54.63
22 - Cúcuta, north-eastern Colombia, 54.29
24 - Medellín, Colombia, 49.1
32 - Chihuahua in northern Mexico, 43.49
33 - San Juan, Puerto Rico, 43.25
35 - Port au Prince, Haiti, 40.1
36 - Ciudad Victoria in north-eastern Mexico, 37.78
44 - San Salvador, El Salvador, 32.48
47 - Monterrey, northern Mexico, 30.85
50 - Barranquilla, northern Colombia, 29.41.

The Consejo observed that several cities had lowered murder rates enough to drop out of the top 50, including Tijuana in northern Mexico and the eastern Mexican port of Veracruz, but also Panama City. Ciudad Juárez dropped almost 20 positions from its position near the top in 2011, and San Salvador had also improved from a rate of 59/100,000 in 2011 to a little over 32 - all these based on official or available figures used to compile the table as the Consejo cautioned. Its website stated that authorities in San Pedro Sula had complained about the negative image the ranking was giving the city and alleged the figures cited were mistaken, but it responded that the ranking was based "on official figures and regarding the effect of the ranking, which merely recognize reality, that is not what harms the city's image but its violence and rulers' inability to contain and reduce it. Hiding problems never solves them." The mayor of Acapulco, which came second in 2012, said "it is quite deplorable that we should be in this stituation...I've seen the note. It pains me that it should be so," Proceso reported on 7 February.