viernes, 17 de enero de 2014

Mexico detains two cartel suspects, over 20 killed around country

State forces were reported to have caught one or two suspected members of the Caballeros Templarios cartel, early on 14 January in the western state of Michoacán where security operations were underway, the broadcaster Univision reported. The arrests were announced at a 15 January press conference by Monte Alejandro Rubido García, executive secretary of the Public Security National System, a state security agency. One detained was identified as a local cartel chief dubbed El Allegretti, sought for his suspected role in 11 killings, including of seven policemen in the district of Tecalcatepec in 2013. On 17 January, the newspaper Milenio published a colour-coded map of violence in the state of Michoacán. "Michoacán the Map of Violence" showed the various districts overrun by local militias fighting the Templars cartel, districts where state forces had most recently entered to boost security, those where schools had shut for insecurity and the geography and calendar of violent incidents in 2014. Elsewhere in Mexico, no less than 23 were reported to have been killed or found dead in apparent criminal incidents over 13-16 January. Proceso initially reported 13 victims for 13-14 January, including four shooting deaths in the northern state of Chihuahua and "seven more bodies" found in clandestine graves in the district of La Barca, on the frontier of Jalisco and Michoacán. It reported that the graves in La Barca, first found on 9 November 2013, had yielded 74 bodies by 15 January 2014 including the seven cited. Proceso counted another 10 killings across the country in the same period, including an employee of the University of Guadalajara shot dead late on 13 January, and the police chief of the district of José Azueta in the state of Veracruz, found by a road with his head on his chest.

Mexico sends forces into western districts overrun by militias

Mexican state forces were reported on 16 January to be in control of 20 districts of the Tierra Caliente area of the western state of Michoacán, as part of operations to regain control of a state that has become the setting of extreme insecurity and effectively, a peasant uprising. State security spokesman Monte Alejandro Rubido García told media that day that state forces were expected to control all the Tierra Caliente zone by 17 January and were meanwhile patrolling various districts, CNN reported. The districts were in recent weeks overrun by the peasant militias, which have declared they would not disarm until the Government destroys the local cartel blamed for extortions and violence in the state, the Caballeros Templarios or Knights Templar. CNN reported meetings on 14 January between representatives of the militias and the Federal and State governments wherein the militias agreed they would not seek to overrun more districts for now. Separately, in the town of Tancítaro in Michoacán, militias began to give back to farmers 25 avocado farms taken from them in past months and years by the TemplariosLa Jornada reported on 17 January. The daily reported that some 265 hectares or 2.65 square kilometers' worth of properties were so far restored to their owners in a district described as the state's main avocado production area. This took place in a ceremony in the main square of Tancítaro, a town of some 5,400 residents, while two militia leaders addressed a crowd. The coordinator of the Michoacán Council of Self-Defence Militias (Consejo de Autodefensas de Michoacán) Estanislao Beltrán Torres and a militia leader dubbed Comandante Cinco o Beto, told residents that the militias had but one task, to eliminate the Templarios "inside and outside Michoacán."