viernes, 22 de marzo de 2013

Colombian police strike at crime in Medellín

Suspected crime bosses were among more than 300 elements Colombian authorities reportedly arrested in a series of police raids launched on 18 March in the Medellín area in the Antioquia department, which the Defence Minister said immediately cut local crime by almost a third. Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno said in Medellín on 21 March that police operations in the city netted 355 suspects including one identified as Carlos Pesebre, head of a gang called La Oficina in the city. Police also confiscated fire arms, over 1,000 knives and sharp items and 5,000 extasy pills, the Ministry reported. Pinzón said 1,139 policemen sent to Medellín and its environs for the operations would remain there to the end of 2013 when the local police force was to be increased permamently. Pinzón said authorities were analysing gang rivalries affecting several districts of Medellín, partly responsible for a recent surge in violence around the city. "We know what is going on, we know who they are and which bands are facing each other and what the motivation is," he said, adding that this would aid intelligence leading to the capture of "those responsible for this violence, because they will fall as have all the other heads of terrorism, drug trafficking and criminal gangs." The Minister announced police had also killed the local head of one of Colombia's main gangs the Rastrojos, who he said had been running illegal mining operations and cocaine production in the north-eastern part of Antioquia. The victim William Manuel Ramos - Alex 15 or Simón - was also thought involved in assassinations and extortion, and his death would improve security in the Medellín area, Pinzón was cited as saying. Police caught another suspected crime boss, a man dubbed 100, purported head of the Urabeños gang in the Bajo Cauca part of Antioquia and thought involved in extortion and murders in several districts of Antioquia, Colombia's National Police chief told Caracol television on 22 March.