miércoles, 11 de diciembre de 2013

Gang graves yield 26 corpses in Mexico, seven shot in two states

After the mass graves found in November in the western Mexican states of Michoacán and Jalisco, which yielded more than 80 bodies, police have found three more secret burial pits in the south-central state of Morelos, said to have yielded 23 bodies so far, Proceso reported on 10 December. The review observed that police were giving few details of when these were found but had apparently been digging for about a month now; the ditches were found in the districts of Emiliano Zapata, Xochitepec and Amacuzac, with one ditch found inside a building in Emiliano Zapata yielding 15 skeletal remains. The review observed that the mayor of Amacuzac moved around in a bullet-proof car with an escort of 12 policemen, after receiving death threats from criminals. Elsewhere in the country: the Army found three corpses on 10 December, buried in an estate in the district of Apatzingán in Michoacán, Milenio reported. Four men were shot dead early on 11 December in the district of Nezahualcóyotl in the central Estado de México, Milenio reported, citing Notimex, and three shot the night before in Cárdenas in the eastern state of Tabasco, Tabasco Hoy reported.

Police find mass grave in El Salvador, with 20 corpses so far

A set of graves found outside San Salvador on 19 November - thought to contain victims of one of the country's gangs - had so far yielded some 20 bodies, and the figure was expected to rise, the website elsalvador.com reported on 10 December. The graves were found in an area of some 200 square metres, in the locality of Lourdes in the district of Colón; police were expecting to find as many as 44 bodies there as excavations continued. Bodies identified so far included an elderly couple, local residents who apparently had refused to hand over their homes to gangsters, at least four children or teenagers, and presumed members of the MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha. The suspected murderers were provisionally identified to be from the rival Mara 18 gang, though authorities had yet to establish which cliques in the gang had perpetrated the killings. Salvadorean gangs were ostensibly in a truce since March 2012, although many observers in the country have voiced doubts about their sincerity and the efficacy of the truce in curbing crime. One of them was the state prosecutor Rodolfo Delgado, involved in the excavations, who said "the murders have not stopped. The ceasefire is just in the minds of the ignorant. Salvadoreans continue to die and their bodies are being hidden," the Salvadorean daily El Mundo reported on 10 December.

Bogotá's dismissed mayor says Right, media feared him

Bogotá's former mayor Gustavo Petro, whom the judiciary dismissed on 9 December for supposed mismanagement and illegal decisions, told supporters in central Bogotá on 10 December that he was sacked as right-wing elements feared he would aspire to the Presidency. "We frighten the private media, Colombia's richest men," he said, adding that these could not envisage that someone who "studied in a public school" and "doesn't like the corruption ticket" could one day govern Colombia, Caracol radio reported that day. The mayor was briefly a communist guerrilla as a young man, and has had a career as a left-wing politician in recent decades. As mayor of Bogotá he sought to recover municipal prerogatives and countered the privatising trend; residents of Bogotá had mixed feelings about his bid to change the way rubbish was collected, including encouraging trash separation and more recycling. Addressing a crowd of some 15,000 from the municipal palace, he said that had he governed another two years "they would have another competitor for the Presidency of the Republic." His dismissal he said, would freeze projects and send Bogotá's administration back 10 years. It was not immediately clear when he was to leave office, as he said he would sign three decrees prepared earlier in following days. Sympathy protests were said to be planned in the capital. The dismissal was reported to have prompted the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ask to see the text of the dismissal decree and for an appointment with the Prosecutor-General to discuss the move and the "mayor's rights," El Colombiano reported on 11 December. The Interior Minister Aurelio Iragorri Valencia commented on 10 December that international bodies could not "take sides" or "become involved" in Colombia's affairs, Caracol radio reported. "International organs are not there to give opinions, approve or disapprove judicial or disciplinary decisions," he said.

Troops shoot Colombian guerrilla sought for 60 killings

Colombian troops shot dead a captain of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) thought responsible for certain recent FARC attacks that have killed more than 30 soldiers in the north-eastern department of Arauca, Caracol radio reported on 10 December. The guerrilla dubbed Jainover, identified as a commander in the FARC's 10th Front, was killed in an undated gun fight at an unspecified place near the Venezuelan frontier, possibly in the Arauca department where he was active. The army was cited as saying that after a shootout troops caught up with a car that sought to take Jainover's body into Venezuela; four presumed FARC fighters were arrested in the operation. The Army also attributed to Jainover attacks in 2005 that killed 30 soldiers in the central department of Meta. He was said to have filmed the attacks he orchestrated.