lunes, 11 de febrero de 2013

Colombian authorities report guerrilla, drug strikes

The Defence Ministry reported on 8 February the deaths and arrests of eight members of Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) and of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in separate incidents. Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón declared while touring the departments of Antioquia and Huila that three ELN fighters including a local chief dubbed Dubernillo, were killed on 7 February in the district of Cáceres in the northern department of Antioquia, the ministry website stated. He said troops also foiled an attempt to sabotage power infrastructures in that area and confiscated arms. Speaking separately in the district of Neiva in the south-central department of Huila he said police and the army caught five suspected members of Front 13 of the FARC, dressed as civilians and "with the intention of launching bomb attacks" on civilian targets. On 10 February the army was reported to have killed three FARC fighters and destroyed two camps said designed for over 70 guerrillas, in the southern department of Caquetá. Three rebels were injured and arms and ammunition confiscated in the operation in the district of San Vicente del Caguán, Caracol television reported. Two of these were said to be children or teenagers and handed over to child welfare authorities. Juan Manuel Santos separately thanked Panama on 10 February for catching a suspected drug trafficker identified by his pseudonym Pichi. Writing on the website Twitter, Santos thanked President Ricardo Martinelli and Panamanian authorities for helping catch a man identified as a member of gang Oficina de EnvigadoColombian public radio reported, citing EFE. Police stated in a communiqué that Pichi was thought linked to the killings of two policemen in Medellín in 2012 and the massacre of nine or 10 members of his own gang outside Medellín last New Year's Eve; he was also blamed for the current bout of violence in Medellín, Radio Nacional de Colombia reported.

Seven shot dead around Mexico, gang suspects held

Police in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila shot dead three gunmen on 10 February, reportedly in response to an ambush on a police convoy driving to the frontier city of Acuña. A shootout began after the gunmen fired on the convoy that had stopped on a highway over a puncture, Proceso reported. On 9 February in the northern district of Piedras Negras in Coahuila gunmen fired on a bullet-proof car carrying policemen and bodyguards of the state Public Security or police chief Gerardo Villarreal Ríos. This prompted gunfire and a car chase around the city, with the participation of soldiers and marines, Proceso reported. Four men were separately reported shot dead early on 10 February in and outside the west-coast resort of Acapulco, Milenio reported. In Culiacán in the north-western state of Sinaola, a man identified separately as head of security for one of two prominent drug traffickers was reported arrested alongside four associates. Jonhatan Sales Avilés - El Fantasma - was identified by sources as either the security chief of Mexico's leading trafficker Joaquín Guzmán Loera or of another trafficker Ismael Zambada; he was surprised and detained on the night of 9-10 February at a safe house earlier located by the army, CNNMéxico reported. The broadcaster observed that state authorities had earlier thought and hoped, that the army killed Sales in a shootout near Culiacán on 4 March 2012.