sábado, 22 de marzo de 2014

Colombia shoots, captures guerrillas, troops sent to crime-ridden port

The Colombian Army killed four guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)'s Fifth Front, including a veteran field captain linked to hundreds of killings, after bombing a FARC camp in the north-central department of Antioquia, El Espectador reported on 21 March. One of the dead was identified as the fighter dubbed Johnny 5to, described as a 24-year veteran and currently head of the Fifth Front's finances, which meant running the FARC's extortions in parts of Antioquia. He was sought for his presumed role in guerrilla actions in the north-western Chocó department and in Antioquia in the past decade, which killed hundreds civilians and troops, El Espectador observed. The guerrilla camp was located in the village locality of Jardín in Dabeiba. On 18 March, Police captured four presumed members of the other guerrilla force, ELN, in the district of Cáceres in Antioquia, El Colombiano reported. The Police chief of Antioquia said the fighters were caught in the zone where ELN guerrillas attacked troops protecting coca eradication teams last February. Separately, more than 2 400 troops and police were engaged in an extensive operation to beat crime in the port district of Buenaventura, including 700 troops and anti-terrorism agents arriving there on 21 March, the Cali paper El País reported on 22 March. The daily observed the Government began to boost its forces in Buenaventura 40 days before in response to a surge in gang activities. It cited the Minister of Defence Juan Carlos Pinzón as saying that troops and police had so far detained 150 suspects of whom 90 were identified as members of the two main criminal gangs, the Urabeños and the Empresa. He said "232 other persons" were detained; few details were given but these may have been for offences excluding organised crime activity. The office of the Ombudsman in Buenaventura stated that 49 people had been murdered in the district "this year," without giving specific dates, five more "than the same period" in 2013.

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