martes, 5 de marzo de 2013

FARC rebels killed, held in Colombia

The Colombian Defence Minister said on 3 March that the army had "neutralised" - killed or detained - in "preceding hours" 21 presumed fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), including eight children or teenagers who were taken from the FARC. Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno said that in operations against Front 37 of the FARC and a smaller unit in the district of El Bagre in the northern department of Antioquia, troops killed one fighter and arrested three including a guerrilla dubbed Deisy, the niece of a member of the FARC Secretariat, the ministry website reported. Eight minors of unspecified age were among the demobilized - and they may be taken into state care in keeping with precedent - while three other guerrillas were in turn "demobilized" or surrendered. He said that troops separately killed two FARC members and injured two, and two others surrendered, in operations against fronts 48 and 58 of the FARC in the northern department of Antioquia and southern department of Putumayo. Police separately detained at unspecified dates two guerrillas presumed involved in the kidnappings and detentions in past years of policemen, soldiers and politicians. In Soacha west of Bogotá, police caught a man identified as Diego Navarrete Beltrán - Sebastián or LJ - a guerrilla said involved in the capture and detention of hostages that included the former politician Ingrid Betancourt Pulecio in 2003-2008, RCN La Radio reported on 5 March. Police caught another suspected guerrilla in Villavicencio south-east of Bogotá, a man dubbed Elkin, identified as one of the "guards" for captured policemen and soldiers in 2001-4. The authorities separately attributed to the FARC two purported bomb attacks early on 5 March in the naval district of Tumaco in the south-western department of Nariño, which damaged structures but injured nobody. The Defence Minister denounced them as indiscriminate acts of terrorism "intended to hurt the civilian population," El Tiempo reported. One of the bombs was placed by a naval base. FARC and government representatives in Havana were cited as claiming progress on 1 March in their process of talks, initiated in autumn 2012 and intended to end decades of conflict in Colombia. Talks had so far focused on rural land use and access, the broadcaster Caracol reported.