jueves, 7 de marzo de 2013

Honduran Police hold 10 suspected Maras

Honduran Police detained 10 suspected extortionists and gang members on 6 March in a house in the northern district of La Ceiba, although a priest had to be called to mediate the surrender, the daily La Prensa reported. The suspects were caught with arms including AK-47 assault rifles and police believe they may have extorted money from local businesses; both police and the detained, identified as possible Mara gangsters, waited for a priest to arrive before arrests were made; the detained were then kept in place until the arrival of state prosecutors. Police were also reported to have shot dead a 16-year-old suspect on 4 March in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, although it was not immediately clear if he was one of five suspected gang members police were chasing before the shooting. Police said they shot the youngster in self-defence, thinking he was about to shoot first after becoming separated from four youths described as armed with assault rifles and who fled when police sought to check on them. The boy's mother confirmed he fled from approaching police but said he had been with her, selling vegetables. She said police placed a gun by his body to incriminate him, La Prensa reported.

Venezuelans comment interim presidency's legality

Constitutional lawyers and opposition politicians pointed out on 7 March that Venezuela's acting president Nicolás Maduro Moros, who many expect will seek election as successor to Hugo Chávez, could not legally and simultaneously be acting president, Vice-President and presidential candidate. Elections were expected within a month but a jurist told the broadcaster Globovisión on 7 March that these may be postponed by days or weeks. Juan Manuel Rafalli told Globovisión that to run for the presidency Maduro would either have to appoint a vice-president or the Supreme Court would have to make a pertinent ruling. It was perhaps unlikely that the court, which had stated nothing so far, would make an obstructive ruling. Certain opposition politicians observed earlier that the parliamentary speaker should legally have taken over the interim presidency with the President's "absolute" absence, and parliament should have convened an extraordinary session. On this the jurist Gerardo Blyde told the daily El Nacional that Article 33 of the constitution permitted the Executive Vice-President to "take charge" of the presidency if the President was no longer in office, interpreting this as distinct from "becoming president," Europa Press reported. He said this meant he remained Vice-President while exercising presidential duties and that pursuant to the Constitution's Article 229 could not also be a candidate. The opposition Table of Democratic Unity (Mesa de Unidad Democrática, MUD) observed separately that election laws prevented Maduro from running for the presidency as an acting rather than an elected president. That law they stated required public servants running for an elected office to resign their positions from the first day of the campaign, Europa Press reported. A member of the MUD secretariat Ramón José Medina said in turn that the opposition agreed elections could be held 45 or 60 days after the presidential demise rather than 30, given conditions, Globovisión and EFE reported on 7 March. Three names Medina cited as possible presidential aspirants for the MUD coalition were Henrique Capriles Radonsky, the candidate who failed to win the presidency in October 2012, the mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma and the legislator María Corina Machado.