domingo, 24 de marzo de 2013

Colombian state continues to strike at crime

As Colombian police rounded up criminals over several days in and around the city of Medellín, police operations netted 60 or so suspected criminals and collaborators of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in operations carried in several departments of Colombia. Twenty eight including four policemen were held in several districts of the east-coast department of Chocó, suspected of involvement in activities including gang membership, kidnapping and drug trafficking, the broadcaster Caracol reported on 23 March. Police linked the detained to two criminal gangs the Urabeños and Renacer; they were caught at an unspecified date in the districts of Quibdó, Tadó, Istmina, Bahía Solano and Yuto. In southern Colombia, authorities held 31 suspected collaborators of the FARC and the other guerrilla force ELN, and may charge them in relation to such activities as terrorism, kidnapping, extortion and sedition, Caracol reported on 23 March. The detained included seemingly ordinary individuals like taxi drivers, shopkeepers and a town councillor, police said; they were held in the localities of Sandoná, Ancuyá la Florida and Yacuanquer in the department of Nariño. The daily El Colombiano observed separately on 24 March that in five days - 18-22 March - the city of Medellín "felt" the impact of the presence of the National Police chief and his senior staff as they led police operations against criminals around the city. Crime was reportedly reduced by a third and Medellín enjoyed a day, 21 March, "when bullets were not heard." In total 419 crime suspects were detained El Colombiano stated, adding that police operations continued even though police generals had now left the city. In western department of Tolima, two soldiers and a FARC guerrilla were reported to have died in undated gunfights in rural localities of the district of Rioblanco, located between Bogotá and Cali. One guerrilla surrendered, Caracol reported an army spokesman General Luis Eduardo Vargas as saying on 23 March.