viernes, 19 de julio de 2013

Chilean Right seeks presidential candidate, dissident visits Santiago

Spain's El País newspaper reported on 19 July that the two conservative parties forming the governing Alianza por Chile had until 19 August to pick a candidate for general elections scheduled for 17 November, after their candidate withdrew from the race on 17 July, saying he had severe depression. The former finance minister and member of the conservative UDI (Independent Democratic Union) party Pablo Longueira Montes became the conservatives' candidate on 30 June after winning primary elections against a rival, the former defence minister Andrés Allamand Zavala. Some have stated Mr Allamand should automatically take his place, but the two parties were reportedly to negotiate over a candidate. El País observed that the UDI and RN (Renovación Nacional) coalition would likely need one, strong candidate if it hoped to beat the Left's candidate, the former president Michelle Bachelet Jeria, currently considered as likely to win November's elections. The conservative President Sebastián Piñera Echenique urged the two parties on 18 July to pick a candidate and avoid a public "show" of differences, Europa Press reported, citing comments made on television. Mr Piñera said speaking on Chilevisión that "hopefully we won't present a spectacle of...a...fight between the two parties when what we have to do is reach an agreement." Mr Piñera was separately to meet "in private" on 19 July with the Venezuelan opponent and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonsky. The meeting would likely upset Venezuela, whose officials reacted angrily last May to a similar meeting in Bogotá between Mr Capriles and Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón. Mr Capriles has sought to explain to regional actors the opposition's rejection of the results of Venezuela's presidential elections last April; he was to visit Peru after Chile. Venezuela's regime has intermittently accused him and other opponents of plotting against the government with conservatives or "fascists" of other states. Not all leaders were in any case receiving him: Mexico's President said in June he would not receive Capriles should he visit, while Ms Bachelet was also not scheduled to meet with him. On 18 July Venezuela's Foreign Minister Elías Jaua said in Miranda, the Venezuelan state of which Mr Capriles is governor, that he should be working in Miranda, not "plotting against his own country with the most deadly Far Right on the continent," Europa Press reported. He was presumably referring to Chile's conservatives.

More than 25 reported killed around Mexico in days

The review Proceso counted no less than 25 killings around Mexico in "three days" following the capture on 15 July of the head of the Zetas drug cartel, the victims including three federal policemen shot in an ambush in the western state of Michoacán. The agents were killed in the afternoon of 18 July when gangsters fired on a police convoy as it left the town of Múgica toward Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacán. Some of the other victims were: two employees of a mining firm found dead in a car near the district of Tepecoacuilco in the Pacific-coast state of Guerrero, six people found shot dead in the district of Buenavista Tomatlán in Michoacán and five men whose burned bodies were left in a car in the district of Ramos Arizpe outside the northern city of Saltillo. The bodies of two men including a journalist were separately found in or near the south-central district of Oaxaca on 17 July; one was identified as Alberto López Bello, a crime reporter for the Oaxaca newspaper El ImparcialCNNMéxico reported. The reporter had in May lodged a complaint with a local human rights body concerning alleged police harrassment. Police briefly arrested López that month when he took pictures of a sheet hung on a bridge showing a message from a gang or one of the drug cartels, after accusing López of having hung the sheet. Criminals in Mexico often use such sheets or posters to display public communications.