lunes, 6 de enero de 2014

President says crime dropped in Colombia over 2012-13

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos expressed satisfaction at the apparent reduction of violent crimes in Colombia over 2013, writing on his Twitter account on 5 January. Mr Santos said that homicides dropped eight percent, from 16,033 cases in 2012 to 14,782 in 2013, while reported kidnapping cases dropped four per cent in that time. His comments, reported on the Presidential website, were likely based on figures given by the Defence and Interior ministries and the armed forces. He observed that no kidnapping was reported in 2013 in 981 municipalities of Colombia or 89 per cent of its territory. Other positive figures given included the capture of 1,087 fighters of the two guerrilla armies, the FARC and the ELN, and the dismantling of 106 extortion gangs. The Defence Ministry reported on Twitter on 5 January that it caught 2,757 suspected criminals in 2013. Colombia's last, conservative president Álvaro Uribe Vélez questioned the claims - repeatedly urging Mr Santos not to "confuse" Colombians on his Twitter account - asserting that kidnappings increased 13 per cent over 2010-13, during the Santos presidency, Caracol television reported. He wrote that thefts against shops and businesses increased 47 per cent in that period, while there was a 223 per cent increase in attacks on oil and gas pipelines. Mr Uribe's statistical sources were not immediately clear on Twitter. Separately, troops shot on 2 January three suspected guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in fighting in the southern department of Caquetá, and later destroyed a makeshift drug laboratory, El Espectador reported, citing Agence France-Presse. Locals were said to have tipped off the authorities of the presence of guerrillas, provisionally identified as from the FARC's Front 14, though reports did not specify where the fighting took place.