martes, 16 de julio de 2013

Gang killings increased in El Salvador in May-July

Salvadorean authorities were reported to have counted 126 homicides around the country in the first 14 days of July - or nine a day on average - which the local daily el Mundo observed would make July the most violent month so far in 2013 if the rate continued. Amid a sharp rise in recent weeks in nationwide killings, some observers have voiced doubts about the validity of a ceasefire begun in March 2012 by the Mara street gangs, which had curbed daily homicides from double-digit rates to five-seven a day. According to El Mundo, police counted 182 homicides in June 2013 and 170 in May, most of which were attributed to the Mara gangs. Recent victims included a 16-year-old boy thought killed on 14 July by gangsters of the Mara Salvatrucha in the district of San Pedro Perulapán north-east of San Salvador, and two men shot dead the same day while playing football in San Francisco Chinameca, a town east of San Salvador, reported. Representatives of 12 churches in El Salvador asked the gangs at an event on 15 or 16 July to abandon crime and "maintain their pact of non-aggression," El Mundo reported. "They must forward the process to another level, not just distance themselves from violence but abandon criminal activity," a Protestant churchman named Fredy Segovia was cited as saying. He urged the Government to involve itself "directly" in districts designated as free of violence by spending more money there.

Mexico detains drug lord, gangster shot in north-western Mexico

Mexican troops detained early on 15 July the head of the Zetas drug cartel Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales - Z-40 - a gangster notorious for his brutality and thought to have ordered over a hundred killings and likely many more, media reported. CNN reported that day declarations by the national Security Cabinet spokesman and deputy-interior minister Eduardo Sánchez Hernández who gave the press details of the capture. The arrest, which followed eight months of intelligence work and observations of the gangster's movements, took place a little after three in the morning outside Nuevo Laredo in the northern state of Tamaulipas. A marines helicopter and ground troops were reported to have stopped a car carrying Z-40 and two suspected associates but also firearms, ammunition and two million USD in cash, Proceso reported. Z-40 was the subject of seven arrest warrants issued in Mexico for charges relating to murder, drug trafficking, money laundering and torture. He was suspected to have ordered the kidnapping and killing in 2010 of 72 migrants whose bodies were found in a ranch in the district of San Fernando in Tamaulipas, and ordered burned a casino in Monterrey in 2011, which killed 50, Spain's El Mundo reported. The former president Felipe Calderón congratulated the marines for the capture, writing on the website Twitter; Z-40's predecessor as Zetas chief was reportedly killed during Mr Calderón's presidency, which waged a determined war on the cartels. Media indicated that the detainee's brother - Z-42 - would likely head the Zetas, although violence was expected to flare in a transitional period following the arrest. Separately, authorities identified a man shot dead on 10 July in Culiacán in the north-western state of Sinaloa as a member of the Sinaloa or Pacific Cartel headed by the leading trafficker Joaquín Guzmán Loera. A deputy-chief prosecutor of Sinaloa was cited as saying that the victim, named as Aflredo Álvarez Zepeda and described in media as Mr Guzmán's "partner" or a go-between with unspecified Colombian traffickers, was one of two people shot as they drove through Culiacán, Proceso reported on 15 July.