lunes, 20 de mayo de 2013

Colombian army shoots FARC captain, pipeline blown up

The Colombian army shot dead at least two guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in undated operations in the northern district of Hacarí, including one identified as a close collaborator of the FARC's supreme chief Timochenko, Bogotá's Radio Santa Fe reported on 20 May. The dead were provisionally identified as the guerrilla dubbed el negro Eliecer, head of the Antonio Santos mobile column, and his presumed partner, a female guerrilla dubbed Tatiana who acted as the column's "accountant." El negro Eliecer was also known as the "terror of Catatumbo," a reference to his presumed area of activity, the district of Catatumbo in Norte de Santander. The newspaper El Colombiano cited him as involved in the massacre in 2004 of 30 peasants in the locality of La Gabarra in Norte de Santander, but also of 17 soldiers at an unspecified date. The Ministry of Defence separately reported on 17 May that three purported members of Front 57 of the FARC surrendered to the Navy that day, in the northern and western departments of Antioquia and Chocó. Two of them were women of whom one, a 24-year-old, had joined the FARC at the age of 14. In southern Colombia, crude oil spilled into the countryside after two sections of the TransAndino pipeline were blown up in attacks attributed to the FARC, Radio Santa Fe reported on 20 May. The pipeline was blown up in one section between the districts of San Miguel and Orito in the Putumayo department, and near the district of La Hormiga in that department, near Ecuador's frontier. Operatives of the firm Ecopetrol were sent to the area to clear the mess and the firm stated it had stopped pumping into the pipe, which takes oil to the Pacific coast, the broadcaster reported.

Venezuelan opponent leaves jail, opposition maintains challenge to polls

A Caracas court ordered released from jail on 18 May the government opponent Antonio Rivero, detained on 27 April and accused of fomenting rioting after the 14 April presidential elections, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the Venezuelan media. The opposition has refused to recognise the official elections results that made Nicolás Maduro President. Rivero, a retired general, heads Voluntad Popular one of the parties in the opposition coalition Table of Democratic Unity (MUD). A day after his release he was in hospital for treatment for a lung infection and digestive problems likely caused by the hunger strike he undertook between 27 April and 13 May while detained, Europa Press and Globovisión reported. Separately the former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles urged Venezuelans on 18 May to participate in the legal steps the opposition had taken to challenge the presidential election results, Globovisión reported, citing Capriles's comments on the website Twitter. He provided Venezuelans with a link informing them on the steps they could take to legally challenge the results announced by the government. The opposition formally lodged two electoral complaints with the Supreme Court, one being lodged by Capriles on 2 May and the other by the MUD coalition on 7 May. These had not been processed as fast as the law allows, because the opposition also lodged complaints about three members of the Supreme Court including the president of its Electoral Chamber (Sala Electoral) Fernando Vegas, whom the opposition pointed out as related by marriage and political loyalties to government ministers, Globovisión and EFE reported.

Lima mayoress dismisses her dismissal order's validity, faces disapproval

The mayoress of Lima Susana Villarán de la Puente rejected on 17 or 18 May a dismissal order against her issued by a judge who argued that the municipality had failed to implement a court order to remove cement blocks near one of the city's markets. She said there were no motives for her dismissal as the only means of removing a mayor were either for his or her absence or by popular vote, the newspaper Perú.21 reported on 18 May. She observed, speaking at an event in the suburb of Villa María del Triunfo, that the judge Malzon Urbina was waiting for the national body for magistrates to clarify whether or not he could keep working as a judge, himself being subject to a dismissal order. A prosecutor of the Lima Municipality said separately on 17 May that the municipality had not ignored the court order cited as it had appealed and thus provisionally placed the order in a state of suspension, reported. The mayoress survived in March 2013 a popular vote to have her dismissed, organised by her critics in the capital. A recent poll however indicated that 60 per cent of Lima residents were not satisfied with her performance, four per cent more than last April, El Comercio reported on 19 May. The pollster Ipsos Apoyo interviewed 521 eligible voters from Lima between 15 and 17 May for the survey, said to have a confidence level of 95 per cent, El Comercio reported.