lunes, 29 de abril de 2013

Forces catch 30, shoot three FARC guerrillas around Colombia

Colombian troops killed a fighter of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and captured 13 in gunfights on 28 April in the south-western district of Tumaco near Ecuador's frontier, Caracol radio reported. The head of the Army's Third Division General Jorge Alberto Seguro said the action against members of the Daniel Aldana Column struck at the FARC's drug trafficking operations in this part of Colombia. Police separately arrested in the south-western department of Cauca on 26 April 17 members of the FARC's Sixth Front suspected of preparing an armed robbery on an army helicopter thought to carry cash worth over 830,000 euros, Europa Press and Colombian media reported. Police detained the suspects in several houses in the district of Puerto Tejada, also confiscating army uniforms, weapons and explosives. The detained were thought to have scheduled their assault for the afternoon of 26 April when the helicopter was to have landed. One detainee, a guerrilla dubbed Leo, was identified as head of the Sixth Front's "special" or elite forces. The 17 were taken to face charges in the city of Cali, Caracol radio reported on 27 April. The army also shot dead two FARC captains in different operations; one was Diomer, identified as fourth-in-command of the Miller Perdomo mobile column active in the Cauca and Valle de Cauca departments in south-western and western Colombia. He was killed in an eight-hour gun fight in the district of Suarez in Cauca, El Espectador reported, citing army declarations. The army also confirmed on 28 April that its troops shot dead two guerrillas in Bojayá in the north-western department of Chocó including a mid-ranking chief in the FARC's Front 57, a man dubbed Nando. Nando was in the FARC for 19 years and suspected in a range of activities including extortion and the forcible recruitment of indigenous Colombians from Chocó, El Colombiano reported.

Electoral body to start partial "audit" of Venezuelan polls

Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) was preparing on 29 April a partial audit of votes cast in the 14 April presidential elections, in spite of stating earlier that this would likely not overturn the results and re-election of President Nicolás Maduro, which the opposition has firmly contested. The former opposition candidate Henrique Capriles alleged there had been electoral fraud and has demanded a full recount of votes. The CNE was to audit between 6 May and 4 June a random selection of ballot boxes from the 46 per cent of voting stations not audited automatically on 14 April, the daily El Universal reported on 28 April, citing comments by the CNE head, Tibisay Lucena. This was apparently an expanded audit to which the authorities had agreed, though the opposition remained dissatisfied, having demanded an audit with all documents evidencing the voting process including lists of those who voted, El Universal reported. The opposition coalition Table of Democratic Unity (MUD) decided on 28 April that its technicians would not attend the start of the random audit, suspecting authorities did not want a full verification using voter lists and fingerprints. A MUD spokesman said the opposition had specific evidence of irregularities required to back any legal challenge it might launch against the elections, El Nacional reported on 29 April.