martes, 26 de noviembre de 2013

El Salvador's murder rate broadly stable in 2012-13

El Salvador's National Civil Police (PNC) registered 2,274 homicides in the country between 1 January and 24 November 2013, 134 homicides less than the figure for the same period in 2012, Police chief Rigoberto Pleités was cited as saying on 24 November. The figure for those dates in 2012 should have been 2,412 though that was not the figure cited in the local newspaper El Mundo; the discrepancy was not immediately clear. As a rate, this represented a daily murder rate of 6.9, considerably below the killing rates the country registered before a nationwide gangs' ceasefire that began in March 2012, El Salvador's El Mundo reported on 25 November. Mr Pleités referred to an unspecified recent communiqué issued by the country's Mara gangs, wherein they reiterated a commitment to curbing violent crime; he said that in preceding days there had been no more than three or so killings a day and expressed hope that the fall, and the commitment, were permanent. There have been intermittent allegations in recent months that the gangs had broken their 2012 truce this year, but Mr Pleités said on 23 November that in any case, Police would "not yield" in fighting crime. The daily reported on 24 November that police had so far detained 1,995 people for homicide in 2013. Police separately re-occupied on 22 November 21 houses being used by one of the Mara gangs as centres of criminal activity, in the district of San Vicente east of the capital San Salvador, El Mundo reported. These houses were termed "destroyer" houses, and said to have been used by the MS or Mara Salvatrucha gang. Forcing people from their homes is a habitual gang practice in Central America. Five suspected gang members were arrested. The daily reported that Police had inspected 1,500-1,800 houses around the country this year as part of the Casa Segura operation, and "recovered" 80 premises taken over by criminals.

Conservative declared President-elect in Honduras, Left dissatisfied

The Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) in Honduras declared that partial results in the country's 24 November general elections indicated the "irreversible" election to the Presidency of the conservative Juan Orlando Hernández, agencies reported. Just over 2.1 million Honduras voted that day, to elect the President, 128 members of parliament, 298 municipal offices and 20 members of the Central American Parliament. The next candidate, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya of the leftist LIBRE party also declared herself victor, while her husband, the former president Manuel Zelaya alleged fraud and said she had been robbed of her victory. Spain and Nicaragua's socialist ruler Daniel Ortega were among the first to recognise Mr Hernández's victory. With 67,75 per cent of votes counted, the TSE stated late on 25 November that Mr Hernández, currently Speaker of parliament and candidate of the National Party, had won 34.08 per cent of votes cast, followed by Ms Castro, with 28.92 per cent of votes, Europa Press and agencies reported. In terms of votes, the Court stated that the National Party won 734,357 votes, LIBRE had won 623,080 votes, the Liberal Party 445,919 (20.7 per cent) votes, and the Anti-Corruption Party PAC 337,014 votes (15.6 percent). Several other parties were reported to have won less than 5,000 votes each, El Heraldo reported on 26 November. The President-elect had profiled himself as the anti-crime candidate in this, one of the world's most crime-ridden, violent countries in the world, and his record in parliament showed him to have favoured stamping on crime using troops and military police. "I will do what I have to do to recover the peace and tranquility of the Honduran people," Europa Press cited him as telling supporters shortly after declaring himself winner. Mr Hernández would officially succeed Porfirio Lobo Sosa as President on 27 January 2014.