jueves, 22 de agosto de 2013

Over 25 killed, found dead around Mexico in days

Twenty six at least were reported killed or found dead around Mexico through 18-21 August including 12 killed in the north-western state of Sinaloa, two state detectives murdered in Guerrero and seven bodies found in Estado de México in central Mexico. The 12 killed in Sinaloa on 20-21 August included four car passengers shot in an ambush in the countryside outside Culiacán and three gunmen shot dead by police whom they had attacked at an unspecified spot, Milenio reported on 22 August. The daily separately reported that a person died and two were injured in a shootout in Tepito in Mexico City on 21 August, in what witnesses declared was a fight over drugs. The bodies of two undercover policemen engaged in intelligence work in the west-coast state of Guerrero were found on 20 August, buried near a village in the district of Juan R. Escudero and indicating they had been tortured and shot; armed men reportedly kidnapped them on 5 August in the village of El Ocotito in Chilpancingo, Proceso reported on 20 August. The review observed that a gang called Los Rojos was now dominant in the Chilpancingo district and that Federal Police detained 10 suspected members of the gang in El Ocotito during July. Police unearthed seven bodies from a grave in Tlamanalco de Velásquez in the Estado de México outside the capital, and were investigating to ascertain whether or not they could belong to some of the youngsters kidnapped from a Mexico City after-hours club on 26 May. Authorities were to perform tests before making declarations, Milenio reported, citing the chief prosecutor of capital Rodolfo Ríos. At least four individuals were reported killed in the eastern states of Tabasco and Campeche between 18 and 21 August, including a bus driver gunned down in Cunduacán on 21 August, a man "burned alive" in a car in Cunduacán on 18 August and two shot dead near Balancán or Campeche that day, Tabasco Hoy reported.

Mexico's Guerrero state accused of "harrassing" civilians, ignoring crime

The Citizens Council for Public Security and Penal Justice, a non-governmental body observing security trends in Mexico, observed on its website on 21 August that residents of Chilpancingo, the capital of the western state of Guerrero, were living under a "systematic" regime of extortion and threats from criminal gangs, and state authorities were doing very little about it. The body reported that civic groups from Chilpancingo denounced on 14 August that all those earning a living in the district - from taxi drivers, to businessmen to the self-employed - had to pay extortion money to the local mafia or face retaliation against themselves or relatives. Retribution could take the form of kidnapping, property destruction or murder; the website reported on 16 August that 14 businessmen from the state or district were "presently" believed kidnapped. It stated on 21 August that many locals suspect that at least certain district or state officials were collaborating with criminals, as suggested by the fact that citizens were sometimes threatened by phone while meeting with officials to report criminal activity. The Citizens Council observed that the state governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero was protecting criminals "by omission," or by failing to act against crime, while residents of Chilpancingo were "sick and tired, desperate and ready to resort to arms to defend themselves," as in other parts of Mexico. Businessmen and activists in Guerrero were separately reported to have accused the Guerrero government of harrassing them for complaining about crime and insecurity. Members of a local grouping the Citizens Council for Security and Development (Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad y el Desarrollo de Guerrero) - lodged a complaint against state governor Aguirre for harrassment, while the local president of the national employers' association Coparmex complained that state prosecutors had summoned him and demanded he "prove" allegations that criminals were extorting money from businesses in Guerrero. Jaime Nava Romero said the Guerrero government had better prosecute crimes not "delegate its responsibility to society," and said the state was responsible for his personal security, Proceso reported on 21 August.

Mexican troops detain "community policemen," free suspects

Following similar action against civilian militias in Michoacán, Mexican troops and marines detained on 21 August 30 member of the "community police" of the district of Ayutla de los Libres in the west-coast state of Guerrero, releasing 20 individuals the militia held in a building for suspected criminal activities. A spokesman for the coordinating body of several local militias CRAC (Coordinadora Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias) Arturo Campos Herrera, told the newspaper Milenio that 600 troops arrived to dismantle the detention centre in the locality of El Paraíso; he said soldiers also arrested that day the coordinator of the community police of the district of Olinalá, Nestora Salgado García. Gonzalo Molina González, a leader of the CRAC for La Montaña, the mountainous zone in Guerrero that includes this district, separately told La Crónica de Hoy that troops did not hesitate to use violence in detaining the community policemen who he added did not resist "to avoid bloodshed." The state has insisted such militias were illegal, while many locals in Guerrero, Michoacán and elsewhere have accused authorities of incompetence in fighting crime or complicity with gangsters in cases. The action prompted the community police forces of the districts of Huamuxtitlán, Olinalá and Tixtla to briefly block local roads that day, although the action was not violent and appeared half-hearted, Milenio reported. Local community police forces were to decide on a course of action on 22 August, La Crónica de Hoy reported. Federal forces evidently had less success in preventing crime in the two states; over 20 were reported killed or found dead following suspected violence in Guerrero and Michoacán on 17 August. Sixteen bodies with torture or shot marks were found dumped or buried in the districts of San Miguel Totolapán and Taxco de Alarcón in Guerrero, and nine bodies found in similar conditions in Buenavista Tomatlán in Michoacán, La Crónica de Hoy and Proceso reported the next day.