viernes, 29 de marzo de 2013

Almost 50 reported killed, dead around Mexico

Twelve at least were reported killed or found dead in presumed criminal incidents in Mexico on 25-26 March, including several teenagers and a political activist linked to the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Gerardo Israel Facio Huerta, a leader of the Citizens' Networks (Redes Ciudadanas) grouping in the northern state of Durango, was said kidnapped at a roadside restaurant on 24 March and found floating in a canal in the city of Gómez Palacio the next day, Proceso reported on 26 March. Investigations indicated he was stabbed in the neck, Proceso reported. A hot-dog seller died in a hospital in the northern city of Monterrey on 27 March, two days after being shot by his food stand for refusing to pay money local gangsters had demanded, Proceso reported. Thirty-four-year old Enrique Ramírez Rosas had opened his stall a week before. Also on 27 March, unidentified individuals dumped seven rubbish bags containing human remains by a military base in the north-eastern city of Victoria in Tamaulipas; authorities were not yet certain how many bodies the bags contained, Proceso reported. The review reported no less than 10 violent deaths around the country for 26-27 March, and 10 through 27-28 March. A gunman separately shot dead seven people in a bar in the northern city of Chihuahua on the night of 28-29 March, Milenio reported. The daily Excelsior reported that the victims were said to have been shot by a masked man "apparently" wearing a police-type uniform. In the western state of Guerrerro, state prosecutors declared on 29 March that a clandestine grave found on 27 March in the district of Acapulco had "so far" yielded eight bodies, Proceso reported.

Colombian guerrilla chiefs reported killed

Venezuelan authorities reported the death at an unspecified date of a member of Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN), a man dubbed The Butcher - El Carnicero - possibly in fighting between ELN guerrillas over a missing drug shipment, the Colombian broadcaster Caracol reported on 27 March. The guerrilla, Hermes Contreras Sánchez, was reportedly killed in the state of Zulia near Colombia. He was sought by Interpol on a range of charges relating to drug trafficking, insurrection and terrorism; Colombian authorities linked him to attacks on civilian targets and infrastructures in the Norte de Santander department. Troops killed two other members of the ELN including a captain dubbed Homero or Omar, in undated fighting in the district of la Sierra in the south-western Cauca department, El Espectador reported on 29 March. Another guerrilla captain confirmed as dead was a fighter of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dubbed Arturo Rojas, killed in fighting in December 2012 but found only recently. Arturo Rojas was identified as a deputy-head of Front 63 of the FARC, and thought responsible for shooting dead four police and military hostages held by the FARC in November 2011, El Espectador reported on 28 March. Separately FARC negotiators issued a communiqué in Cuba, where talks are being held with the government, dismissing as "naive" the idea that the FARC would abandon arms without reforms to the Colombian polity. Colombia's chief negotiator stressed on one occasion at least in 2012 that peace talks were unrelated to the FARC's political and economic agenda. The FARC communiqué stated it was "not at all realistic" to suppose there would be a "stable peace" in Colombia without changes to the "economic model," Caracol reported on 27 March. The communiqué also indicated the FARC's reluctance to accept terms for ending the conflict that included imprisonment for FARC members involved in such activities as kidnapping, drug trafficking and extortion. Was it "naiveté or cynicism - perhaps both," the text asked, when "they tell us, an unconditional rendition of guerrillas, handover of arms, submission to [state] policies, all in exchange for two or three posts in Congress," or temporary positions for guerrilla chieftains as a "Work or Health minister...even a few years in jail for the insurgency's main leaders." Nevertheless the FARC expressed satisfaction at progress made so far in talks, in the same or another communiqué issued in Havana, Caracol reported on 26 March.