lunes, 8 de abril de 2013

Murders said increased in Medellín in 2013, two gangsters caught

State coroners counted 295 homicides in Medellín, Colombia, in the first three months of 2013, that is 40 cases or 15,7 per cent more than for the same period in 2012. The city in north-western Colombia was the setting of police raids and increased police presence in late March against a surge in violence, which authorities said more than halved crime within days. A report issued by the country's Legal Medicine authority counted 90 homicides in the city in January 2013, 101 in February and 104 in March, Caracol radio reported on 8 April. Its report cited the 13-San Javier and Candelaria "communes" as the most violent neighbourhoods respectively with 50 and 45 killings for the period cited. In total it counted 5,231 violent deaths in Medellín from 2010 to the end of March 2013. The security affairs chief for the Medellín city government, Arnulfo Serna Giraldo, commented on 8 April that there were 17 homicides in Medellín in the first week of April, three fewer than for the same period in 2012, adding that he observed a downward tendency in homicides that month. "The projection has diminished. The aim was to end the year with a 52-per-cent reduction but we are at 47 per cent if the trend continues," Medellín's El Mundo reported on 8 April. Recent police operations he said had focused most on the comuna San Javier or 13. "Our greatest concern is to reduce homicides in the city and we shall work so these diminish by the end of the year," he said. Authorities separately reported the capture on or before 6 April of two suspected members of the Rastrojos gang in the departments of Valle de Cauca and Caldas in western and central Colombia, the broadcaster Caracol reported. The detained were identified as a deputy-head of the Rastrojos in the Valle de Cauca, a man dubbed el Choricito (Little sausage) caught in the district of Viterbo, and a gang "nurse" dubbed Alex caught in Trujillo in Caldas. El Choricito was thought to be in charge of drug trafficking in the northern part of Valle de Cauca, but also ordered "assassinations, extortions, kidnappings and disappearances," Caracol reported, citing the findings of a special gangs court.

Oil firm's helicopter crashes in Peru, 13 killed

Thirteen passengers and pilots were killed when a helicopter exploded and crashed in northern Peru on 7 April, Europa Press reported. The craft belonged to an oil company, Perenco, which helped authorities look for survivors. There were none. Witnesses were cited as saying that the helicopter exploded in the air and crashed 10 minutes before landing at the company's base, in the department of Loreto, the daily Correo reported on 7 April. Mechanical failure was blamed provisionally as investigations continued, La Republica reported. Separately a soldier was killed and another injured in a "terrorist attack" on 5 April on an army base near the town of Kiteni in the central department of Cuzco, the army declared. An army communiqué accused "sharpshooters from terrorist elements" of killing a sergeant and injuring a petty officer in an attack it qualified as a response to "actions the Government has undertaken in the zone," Europa Press reported. The army maintains anti-terrorism bases in this area, the setting for the activities of traffickers and communist guerrillas of the Shining Path, which authorities seemed to blame for the killing. The victim was a young recruit who recently joined the army after finishing his military service, La Razón reported. It cited a former head of the armed forces Joint Command Admiral Jorge Montoya Manrique, as calling for more military resources to end the rebellion of the Shining Path, notorious in the 1980s for its brutality. He said troops needed better equipment to "avoid more misfortunes...this country needs troops and to improve its security they need more and better resources." On 6 April the head of the Armed Forces Joint Command Admiral José Cueto Aservi said there could be more attacks on anti-terrorism bases in the province of La Convención where the killing occurred, La Razón reported. "I hope people understand we are in a war zone. They hide to attack. It is a very difficult zone, which they know better. They murder and withdraw into the hills inside the jungle" he said, referring to guerrillas or drug traffickers.