lunes, 4 de marzo de 2013

Peruvian army almost caught Shining Path chief

Troops and police shot dead on 3 March a communist Shining Path rebel and were believed to have almost caught the rebel force's third-in-command Jorge Luis Quispe Palomino or Comrade Raúl, Europa Press and the daily Peru21 reported. Troops entered the camp in the locality of Vizcatán in the province of Huanta east of Lima after a gun battle that killed a female rebel - Comrade Luisa - identified as one of Raúl's bodyguards. The camp, in a region called VRAEM (Valle de los Ríos Apurímac, Ene y Mantaro) considered the Shining Path's stronghold, was reportedly of a permanent nature for its solid structures. Troops were fanning this area between 22 February and 1 March and appeared to have entered the camp in that time; on 14 February the government declared it would send troops into the VRAEM to eradicate drugs, Europa Press reported. Separately a soldier was shot dead at or near an army base in the Huanta province, in an undated attack attributed to the Shining Path, El Correo reported on 4 March. The soldier was reported shot from the jungle while on guard or patrol duty at a base by the river Mantaro in the district of Llochegua.

Mexican party amends statutes to help government

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was the guest of honour at the 21st Ordinary National Assembly of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which approved a reformist agenda intended to assure the PRI's closer cooperation with government's liberalizing agenda. This included removal from party statutes of prohibitions on debating the imposition of VAT on foods and medicines, a move opposed by the Left in Mexico Alongside accepting the principle of private investment in the state-sector oil firm Pemex, these were among the "binding" items removed from the party's "basic documents," which indicated the party's eager support for its own government. The PRI senator Cristina Díaz Salazar said the changes sought to "accompany" Peña Nieto's policies, CNN reported. During and after the 2012 general elections PRI members were intermittently cited as saying that the PRI party and government would remain distinct; yet this is not a party known for dissentions and internal disputes. It contrasts in that sense with the Leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), whose members split from the PRI in the 1980s and which recently split again with the departure of its former leader. The PRI assembly approved an Action Programme (Programa de Acción) that included reducing its National Political Council from 1,200 to 700 members, and its Permanent Political Committee (Comisión Política Permanente) from 200 to 47 members including PRI-run state governors and the President, Proceso reported on 4 March. The assembly voted its support likewise for reforms in areas of taxation, competition and subsidies, while "mechanisms" were approved to ensure PRI members who accede to public office do not deviate from set party lines, La Crónica de Hoy reported. Peña told the 4,200 PRI members that there were "no untouchable interests" in the country; "the only interest I shall protect is the national interest. I shall take the decisions the country's transformation requires. The PRI's success depends on Mexico's success, CNNMéxico reported.

Web reporter shot dead in northern Mexico

An investigative web reporter was shot 18 times on 3 March in the city of Ojinaga near the frontier with the United States, apparently while taking photographs from his car, the daily Excelsior reported. It stated that the gunmen "spared" a woman who was with the victim, named as Jaime Guadalupe González Domínguez, and took his camera. González was a reporter and ran the website Ojinaga Noticias, which reported his death. Another press target of presumed criminals was the newspaper from northern Mexico El Siglo de Torreón whose installations were shot at several times in recent days. It was not clear in the incidents if gunmen were targetting the paper or policemen placed at its entrance. The governor of the state of Coahuila Rubén Moreira in any case ordered security boosted at the paper's offices 1 March. On 2 March the military searched the building for hidden bombs after an alert was declared, finding no bombs, Proceso reported. In another criminal incident late on 28 February, a man was shot dead in the city of Pátzcuaro in the western state of Michoacán, Proceso reported on 1 March. The 28-year-old was identified as a son-in-law of the mayoress of Pátzcuaro, Salma Karrum Cervantes.

Fifty or more reported killed around Mexico

Over 30 were reported killed or found dead in presumed criminal incidents around Mexico through 2-3 March, in addition to "at least 20" reported killed or found dead on 27-28 February. The most recent victims included 10 whose bodies were found on farming land in the west-coast state of Guerrero. The 10 bodies, said alternately to belong to farmers or criminals, were found on 3 March in the district of Ajuchtitlán in Guerrero, the state where locals of several districts have taken up arms against crime, Europa Press reported, citing Mexican press reports. While the victims were identified in some media as suspected criminals, the daily El Universal cited unspecified locals and "government sources" as saying that they were working on melon fields when attacked; the youngest victim was 15 years old. Four youngsters including a 19 and a 16-year-old were separately shot dead in a car on 3 March in the district of Ixtapaluca outside Mexico City, Proceso reported, citing police declarations. A fifth person in the car was reported injured and kidnapped by the presumed assassins, Proceso stated. These it added were among 12 killed or found dead on 2-3 March in Estado de México, the state that includes Ixtapaluca. Three men were shot or found dead on 3 March in a house in the north-eastern district of Piedras Negras; police went to the house after a 14-year-old boy apparently shot in the face arrived at a local clinic, El Siglo de Torreón reported. On 2 March gunmen killed a bus driver and four of his passengers travelling in the north-western state of Nayarit, Proceso reported. The gunmen reportedly forced the 27 passengers, members of a cattle farming association, off the bus, before shooting the five. State prosecutors cited robbery or "internal differences" in the cattlemen's association as possible motives for the killings. In the district of Ahome in the north-western state of Sinaloa, municipal police shot dead two suspected drug dealers on 2 March, Milenio and Notimex reported. State prosecutors said the suspects began to run and shoot when police caught them selling drugs on a street. Federal police separately arrested on 3 March the police chief of Tlaquiltenango, a district south of the central city of Cuernavaca, for suspected ties to a local gang called Los RojosProceso reported.