lunes, 6 de mayo de 2013

Colombian army kills FARC guerrillas, politician shot

Troops shot dead seven fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and arrested another in fighting on 4-5 May in the south-western Colombian department of Nariño, agencies reported, citing army declarations. The armed-forces commander for south-western Colombia General Leonardo Barrero Gordillo said the fighting was against the FARC's Front 29 in the locality of Leyva, on the frontier between the departments of Nariño and Cauca, Spain's EFE reported on 5 May. Barrero described this as the "fourth blow" this year against Front 29, which he said had lost 58 men in 2013 in deaths, arrests and desertions. In separate incidents a member of a Christian political party and a land claimant were killed in the northern departments of César and Antioquia. The Minister of Agriculture Juan Camilo Restrepo Salazar condemned on 5 May the killing that day of Iván Restrepo García, one of the many Colombians reclaiming properties from which they were expelled in past years, in areas of Colombia affected by conflict or insecurity. Land grabbers in such cases were generally suspected to be paramilitaries, gangsters or communist guerrillas. The government has begun a programme to restore such lands and Restrepo was reportedly registered as claimant to a plot of land in the Bello district in Antioquia. He was shot in his house there, in spite of unspecified protective measures given him by the state, RCN La Radio reported. The Minister wrote on the website Twitter that land restitution policies would continue "with determination" in spite of "sharpshooters" and "regardless of who the despoiler was," RCN radio reported. Unidentified gunmen also shot dead Gustavo Briceño, a member of MIRA (Movimiento Independiente de Renovación Absoluta), a small, independent party, at an unspecified date in Valledupar in César. Briceño was a pre-candidate for Senate elections in 2014, Agence France-Presse reported.

Police find indigenous family not "massacred" in northern Colombia

Authorities of the northern Colombian department of Antioquia dismissed after investigations the recent claim made by a young man that seven close relatives had been murdered by gunmen, initially suspected to be of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia operating in the Tarazá district; a regional official said the plaintiff Luis Albeiro González was mentally disturbed. Antioquia's Government Secretary Santiago Londoño Uribe said the man's mother, said to have been killed on 2 May, was found in the district of El Bagre in Antioquia where she has lived for some time, Caracol radio reported on 5 May. She told authorities investigating her son's claims that her husband - also supposed to have been massacred - died 20 years before.

Venezuela recalls envoy from Lima over minister's "meddling" comments

President Nicolás Maduro recalled Venezuela's ambassador in Lima for consultations after Peru's Foreign Minister proposed the regional association UNASUR should ask Venezuela to talk with domestic opponents over the disputed results of the 14 April presidential elections, agencies reported on 3 May. Maduro described Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo's proposal as "interventionist," adding he would phone President Ollanta Humala to check whether or not this was Peru's official position, Spain's EFE reported. This was one of several verbal exchanges Venezuela's socialist government was having with foreign states and personalities over elections whose results the opposition coalition has rejected. Roncagliolo "has not consulted with Venezuela over what he has just stated. Please, not like this. You cannot state opinions on Venezuela...I do not accept this lack of respect for Venezuela's political and democratic process," Maduro declared. He said Roncagliolo had with the comments made "the mistake of his life." Venezuela's opposition welcomed the proposal however and declared the government was "going the wrong way" in its foreign relations. The Table of Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition stated its support in a communiqué that described Maduro's as a "Crafty Government," El Universal reported on 4 May. The government's management of its foreign relations it stated, "is very much going the wrong way" and the aggressive language it was now using with foreign parties "is not giving any benefits to this government of precarious legitimacy." Roncagliolo's proposals were not a "lack of respect to Venezuela. This is the responsible attitude governments adopt when they believe in democracy as a space for dialogue, tolerance and respect for opponents." Peru's former president Alan García also wrote on the website Twitter on 4 May that the incident was a "great opportunity" for Peru to distance itself from "Maduro's dictatorship" and forget the example of the left-wing ideology led by the late Hugo Chávez," Peruvian dailies reported. The incident followed similar harsh words Maduro addressed to Spain's Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo on 2 May. García-Margallo proposed on 29 April that Spain could mediate between Maduro and the opposition to reduce tensions in Venezuela, Spain's El País reported; Maduro told him to "take his nose out" of Venezuela's affairs.