viernes, 8 de marzo de 2013

Mexico detains 30-37 cartel suspects

Troops detained on 7 March 30 or more suspected members of the cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación thought to have infiltrated or paraded as the community police of the district of Buenavista in the western state of Michoacán, media reported. Authorities have reacted uneasily to the formation this year and proliferation around the country of armed groups of residents - or self-styled community police forces - which have especially emerged in rural and western areas where people were evidently sick of rampant crime. The dailies El Universal and Milenio put the number of detained at 34 and 37, while troops were reported to have confiscated high-calibre guns and rifles. A deputy-interior minister was cited as saying that the detained were suspected to have been armed by that cartel, which Milenio reported was active in western states and linked to the powerful Sinaloa Cartel. The prosecutor's office for organized crime - SEIDO - was investigating details and detainees' backgrounds. Troops also freed the municipal police chief and five policemen the group had confined inside the municipal government, El Universal reported. It reported that local self-defence groups were resisting government efforts to dissolve them and a local group staged three road blocks around Buenavista on 8 March. It was not immediately clear if roads were blocked by those detained or by armed locals; El Universal observed in any case that armed groups had usurped municipal police powers since 24 February. The Mexican defence ministry separately reported on 7 March that it shot dead around 160 suspected criminals during operations in 13 Mexican states between 1 December 2012 and 9 February 2013 or the first two months of the new government, Milenio and Proceso reported. The ministry reported 67 or the largest number of these deaths to have been in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, followed by Veracruz on the east coast with 25 and the northern state of Coahuila with 23 suspects gunned down. In this period 270 suspects were held in Tamaulipas the ministry stated, 95 in the north-western state of Sonora, 94 in Coahuila and 83 in Veracruz, with smaller numbers elsewhere. It stated that the armed forces only detain suspects when caught in flagrante, and these are immediately handed over to the pertinent Public Ministry officials, or state prosecutors charged with criminal investigations.