martes, 30 de julio de 2013

Residents hand in firearms in northern Bogotá, given tokens

Residents of the district of Usaquén north of Bogotá handed in on 29 July lethal objects including firearms and grenades in exchange for supermarket vouchers in another of the disarmament events that have become part of the measures taken by the city government to curb crime in Colombia's capital. Twenty three residents responded to the local municipality's calls to leave items that included in this case 25 hand grenades and 10 firearms; children handed in plastic guns and "martial toys" in exchange for T-shirts, caps, chocolate and board games, the office of the Bogotá Government Secretary coordinating security in the capital reported. Usaquén had a population of a little under 480,000 in 2012. Those who disarm this way are exempt from police investigation; in Usaquén they received shopping vouchers to spend in Éxito supermarkets on food and household items but not alcohol or tobacco. The mayoress of Usaquén Julieta Naranjo Luján termed this first disarmament event in Usaquén a success, telling a gathering it would "reduce homicides, crimes and personal injuries to much lower levels in the city." The Usaquén Police chief Colonel Pedro Ruiz Pulido was cited as saying that there were 33 homicides "so far this year" in Usaquén, of which 88 per cent were committed with firearms. Authorities attributed 91 per cent of homicides registered in Usaquén to "personal problems resulting from social intolerance" and acts of vengence "mostly" following excessive drinking, the office of the Bogotá Government Secretary reported.

Taxi drivers shot in northern Mexico, three detained over vice-admiral's killing

Gunmen shot dead seven taxi drivers at two taxi stands in the districts of Lerdo and Gómez Palacio in the northern state of Durango on 29 July, the daily Milenio reported, citing local prosecutors. The same gunman reportedly shot five of the drivers in Gómez Palacio, according to Proceso; one person was injured in that attack. Mexican taxi drivers are habitually the targets of extortion by criminal gangs. In Estado de México in central Mexico, police found the bodies of a man and a woman in a car on 29 or 30 July in the district of Naucalpán, Milenio reported, citing Notimex. The two had apparently been shot 20 times or more; neighbours were cited as saying they had heard the shooting but seen nobody. The review Proceso counted no less than 15 killings around the country on 29 July in incidents thought related to organised crime and gangs. These included the taxi drivers and also a police chief or the police chief of the port district of Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacán. He was found dead near his car early that day. Authorities declared they were questioning three detainees identified as suspected members of the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel said to have shot dead a vice-admiral and his bodyguard in Michoacán on 28 July. The three had apparently confessed and given details of their activities including that they received a monthly wage of 7,500 Mexican pesos or a little under 590 USD working for the cartel, la Crónica de Hoy reported on 30 July.